swole troll

PCT... It's not that difficult

131 posts in this topic

In bold is the crucial information although i advise reading entire post

This has been done and stickied before by far more knowledgeable posters than I but even so i get asked on a near enough daily basis by those planning their first cycle or more worryingly those who have already started their first cycle "what should i do for pct?" or "does this PCT look ok?" 

so without further ado i'll try to keep things short n sweet

the cycle itself is what's shutting you down so where better to start than to do our best to minimize suppresion

HCG 500iu pinned on mondays and thursday (1000iu per week total) from your first shot of gear until 3 days prior to starting clomid

 video on preparing your hcg which must be stored in the fridge once mixed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBcRZte98-g

oestrogen is far more suppresive than testosterone yet many will preach to only use an aromatase inhibitor if you start getting itchy nipples (signs of gyno) this is a ridiculous indicator of when to use an AI imo as high oestrogen doesnt always present in the form of gyno and if allowed to run rampant will definitely make recovery that much harder not to mention all the other health risks associated with elevated oestrogen

 you should use an AI from day one of your cycle, preferably aromasin as it has little effects on lipids unlike arimidex and letrozole plus it's a suicide inhibitor so there is much less risk of rebound

I generally advise people to run either 12.5mg aromasin or 0.5mg arimidex ED from the start of their cycle and adjust from there, the chances of driving oestrogen too low whilst on 5 times the normal amount of test that a male produces is relatively slim as the body likes to maintain homoeostasis between oestrogen and testosterone, test rises = oestrogen rises
*Please note first time steroid users who do not understand how their body responds to steroids and aromatase inhibitors it is a lot easier to rectify mistakes with anastrazole (arimidex) than it is exemestane (aromasin)

if you push your e2 too low with anastrazole you can rebound it back up fairly quickly and adjust as needed, with exemestane you get no such privilege and you can end up spending a long time waiting for your e2 to rise again which will have a negative impact on lipid profile, joint integrity, mental health, libido and overall gains*


here's a good guide for how to gauge where abouts your oestrogen is - http://www.superiormuscle.com/forums/steroid-articles/59096-estrogen-handbook 
ideally we'd all be getting bloods done but if you've overlooked PCT then id be surprised if blood tests were high on your list of priorities 

here is a rough guide of the start times for PCT after your final shot: 

"Below you'll find starting times for your PCT based on the active life of each compound. The active life is the duration of time it takes for the exogenous hormone to be absorbed, utilized, and expelled; no longer being bioavailable. Keep in mind that active life is an approximation which is dependant on dose, ester, as well as the individuals metabolization of the compound ; but for the moderate user, these are as close to precise as you'll find.

Anadrol /Anapolan: 24 hours after last administration 
Deca : 21 days after last injection
Dianabol : 24 hours after last administration 
Equipoise : 21 days after last injection 
Fina: 3 days after last injection 
Primobolan depot: 14 days after last injection 
Sustanon : 18 days after last injection 
Testosterone Cypionate : 18 days after last injection 
Testosterone Enanthate : 14 days after last injection 
Testosterone Propionate : 3 days after last injection 
Testosterone Suspension : 24 hours after last administration 
Winstrol : 24 hours after last administration"

the above chart has loose estimates at best as it doesn't take into consideration how long you've been on or what dosages you've used but assuming you've ran test enth at 500mg every week for 12-15 weeks id advise leaving 21 days after your final shot before starting PCT

during this time you continue to run your HCG at 500iu twice per week until the last 3 days prior to starting PCT when you cease HCG usage

you then run

Clomid 100/100/100/50/50                                        5 weeks total

Nolva   40/20/20/20/20/20/20                                         7 weeks total

Aromasin 25/25/12.5/12.5/  followed by 12.5 EOD       5 weeks total


/100/ represents 100mg ED for a week

OTC supplements that assist in PCT - 

Vitamin d3 5000iu 
Vitamin c 500mg twice a day AM/PM (1000mg total)

mix up 50 grams of BCAA powder in a litre bottle of water and drink throughout the day in between meals, do this every day for the duration of your pct and also sip a BCAA drink during training

and if you havnt already been using it on cycle now would be a good time to start using creatine


during pct your body will happily dispose of all that hard earned muscle if you don't make the environment perfect for it to justify holding onto it, do this by keeping intensity high but sessions slightly shorter, train no more than 4 days per week ideally 3 with a days rest in between each session, drop cardio for the duration of pct, eat in a very slight surplus, keep your protein high and get plenty of sleep (ideally sleep without setting an alarm and wake up naturally)


Dave Crosland's take  on PCT - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEOfjebN1qs

Dr Michael Scally radio talk - http://www.rxmuscle.com/2013-01-11-01-57-36/blue-collar-muscle/10119-blue-collar-radio-with-shelby-starnes-john-meadows-01-31-14-this-week-john-and-shelby-talk-to-michael-scally-an-expert-on-anabolic-steroid-side-effects.html


if you are are unsure on how to run your first cycle (dosages, compounds, timing ect) then please see my "first steroid cycle... it's not that difficult" thread -
 

 

Colz, Cookjt08, Sandy87 and 27 others like this

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I personally would rather ride out the psychological sides of pct which can be minimised by controlling oestrogen and having an effective pct in place like the one above

There is other side effects associated with 5htp that I'd rather avoid

You're not meant to feel good whilSt having bottomed out androgens, taking mood altering supps or prescription ones (i've heard of guys taking ssri meds to deal with post cycle depression) is just spinning plates

I can't comment on mucuna pruriens, i've heard the name in the past but always chalked it up as snake oil.

 

If it helps with mood naturally and doesn't have the potential sides of 5hpt then I see no reason not to add it in if your budget allows. The main thing is to just keep calm during pct and live as stress free as possible to try and keep cortisol down: avoid cardio, keep weight sessions short and intense, train no more than 3-4 days per week with a days rest in between each session and of course get plenty of sleep, ideally sleep with no alarm clock and just wake up naturally when your body is ready, if you go to bed early enough then there is no reason this cant fit into your day to day life

 

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HCG 500iu pinned on mondays and thursday (1000iu per week total) from your first shot of gear until a week prior to starting clomid


I advise people to run 12.5mg aromasin ED from the start of their cycle and adjust from there, the 


Testosterone Enanthate : 14 days after last injection 

 

 

Interesting post, thanks Swole! Few questions if I may

1. can I ask why HCG from first shot? Many seem to say 2nd week? Whats the thinking behind that?

2. You mention 12.5mg aromasin ED, why would an equivalent of Arimidex be? Or is this comparing apples and pears

3. I see your suggestions such as PCT, start 14 days after Test E for example. But wouldn't the amount of actual test you take have an effect of the time to PCT. For example. If you took 1000mg of Test, then at a 8day half life, thats 500mg after 8 days, 250mg after 16days, 125mg after 24days. But if you took 250mg Test E then you reach the same level of 125mg after only 8 days. EDIT: sorry you have answered this already, ignore!

 

 

 

Edited by JohhnyC

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Interesting post, thanks Swole! Few questions if I may

1. can I ask why HCG from first shot? Many seem to say 2nd week? Whats the thinking behind that?

you start from the day you introduce exogenous hormones to mimic LH signals that would be disrupted by the use of gear, i believe the rational behind starting 2 weeks in is this is around the time LH levels fully decline however my understanding is that the decline starts as soon as you start your cycle so why wait? the leydig cell 
desensitization is strongly exaggerated  and even if this is a worry do you really think two extra weeks of 1000iu will be the straw that breaks the camels back? in the radio interview i linked with doctor scally he says he has NEVER seen a case of leydig cell desensitization from hcg usage

2. You mention 12.5mg aromasin ED, why would an equivalent of Arimidex be? Or is this comparing apples and pears

the therapeutic dose for aromasin is 25mg, ive suggested half of this dose as a start point so to apply it to arimidex would equate to 0.5mg. I'm always conservative with my AI recommendation because people seem to be heavily anti AI but for me personally i started at 1mg of arimidex ED (therapeutic dose) on my first cycle and i felt great, i then lowered to 0.5mg ED on recommendation and i started to get gyno symptoms. the use of AI on cycle was recently discussed by myself and a few others where i quoted Ausbuilt which i recommend all reading this to click the link and see that quote, see thread for more info -  http://www.uk-muscle.co.uk/topic/254964-nolvadex-replacing-ai-on-cycle/#comment-4937140

 

see bold

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PCT is no black and white subject, a routine that works for some may not work for others, and it also varies upon cycle type and length in my experience.

However, that procedure you have outlined is certainly a good method, and very similar to what I am doing on my current cycle.

swole troll likes this

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PCT is no black and white subject, a routine that works for some may not work for others, and it also varies upon cycle type and length in my experience.

However, that procedure you have outlined is certainly a good method, and very similar to what I am doing on my current cycle.

i agree and there is argument that less is better where all drugs are concerned but my personal opinion is without bloods throughout to monitor the effectiveness of more mild PCT's you are chancing an inferior recovery equalling more time shut down and higher potential to lose gains

i always like to slam the PCT hard regardless of cycle as i feel there isnt really such thing as OVER recovered, that's not to say any PCT will offer instant recovery but an aggressive one will give you the best kick start to your recovery

i remember pscarb once saying something along the lines of "the best PCT is time" and the fact of the matter is this will always be the dominating factor in how much you've recovered from a cycle 

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Agreed, and I'm not one to do bloods so my PCT is usually heavy and detailed, and preventative throughout cycle - as you suggest.  Also longer than the standard recommended 4 weeks, I usually go up to around 7 weeks.

That does add considerable cost of course, and more potential for extra side effects, but I'd rather that than have a huge battle through PCT and potentially lose a lot of the gains.

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Thought id throw in a few links and info on the possible benefits of a beta 2 agonist during pct, someone asked me about their benefits  on here the other day so ill copy and paste my response as it has all the relevant data i currently have on it

"**** Although i believe there could be some benefit to running a beta 2 agonist during PCT this would still be in conjunction with at the very least maintenance calories or ideally a slight surplus, PCT is NOT the time to be cutting, you WILL lose excessive lean body mass if you are in a caloric deficit during PCT ****


i havnt tested the theory of using albuterol, clenbuterol or ephedrine during PCT yet hence i havnt included it in my "PCT... It's not that difficult" thread 

i'll be using either ephedrine or albuterol during my own pct which starts up in 3 weeks time

there is data suggesting that all beta 2 agonists are anti catabolic in all the animal studies 
performed, whether or not this is the case in humans is still open for debate

there is also studies claiming that beta 2 agonists will shift the ratio in favour of fat burn over lean body mass which again during PCT would be beneficial 

one thing is for sure though if you take a week off of all stimulants prior to your PCT and then introduce a beta 2 agonist you will get a real surge in energy which will positively effect your workouts and you should be looking for any edge possible during PCT in terms of keeping or hopefully improving strength in order to hold onto as much lean body mass as possible


here's some studies on the benefits of beta 2 agonists and their muscle sparing properties 


Effects of chronic administration of ephedrine during very-low-calorie diets on energy expenditure, protein metabolism and hormone levels in obese subjects. - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1310922 

Anabolic effects of clenbuterol on skeletal muscle are mediated by beta 2-adrenoceptor activation. - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1322047

The anabolic properties of asthma drugs (clenbuterol,albuterol) - http://extrememuscleenhancement.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/anabolic-properties-of-asthma-drugs.html?m=1
"



some more on ephedrine - 

Thermogenic, metabolic, and cardiovascular responses to ephedrine and caffeine in man.

Astrup A, Toubro S.

Research Department of Human Nutrition, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Copenhagen, Denmark.

To develop an appropriate combination of ephedrine and caffeine consisting of clinically relevant doses, we examined the acute thermogenic, metabolic, and cardiovascular effects of different doses of caffeine (C) and ephedrine (E) given separately and in combination to normal subjects. The thermogenic effect after E+C (20 mg/200mg) was larger than that of any other combinations, and E and C exerted a supra-additive synergism on thermogenesis and systolic blood pressure, while being without effect on diastolic blood pressure. The combination also had pronounced effects on glucose metabolism by increasing plasma glucose, insulin and C-peptide concentrations. During chronic treatment the effect of E+C on energy expenditure is maintained, while side effects subside because tolerance develops to its hemodynamic and metabolic effects. During dietary energy restriction E+C promotes fat loss and preserves fat-free mass, which may contribute to its chronic effect on energy balance. In conclusion, the hemodynamic and side effects to E+C are transient during chronic treatment, while the effect on energy expenditure persists. The compound also possesses repartitioning properties, which may be useful in the treatment of obesity



Safety and efficacy of long-term treatment with ephedrine, caffeine and an ephedrine/caffeine mixture.


Toubro S, Astrup AV, Breum L, Quaade F.

Research Department of Human Nutrition, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Fredriksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark.

In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind study, 180 obese patients were treated by diet (4.2 MJ/day) and either an ephedrine/caffeine combination (20mg/200mg), ephedrine (20mg), caffeine (200mg) or placebo 3 times a day for 24 weeks. 141 patients completed this part of the study. All medication was stopped between week 24-26 in order to catch any withdrawal symptoms. From week 26 to 50, 99 patients completed treatment with the ephedrine/caffeine compound in an open trial design, resulting in a statistically significant (p = 0.02) weight loss of 1.1kg. In another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled 8 week study on obese subjects we found the mentioned compound showed lean body mass conserving properties. We conclude that the ephedrine/caffeine combination is effective in improving and maintaining weight loss, further it has lean body mass saving properties. The side effects are minor and transient and no withdrawal symptoms have been found



Effects of chronic administration of ephedrine during very-low-calorie diets on energy expenditure, protein metabolism and hormone levels in obese subjects.


Pasquali R, Casimirri F, Melchionda N, Grossi G, Bortoluzzi L, Morselli Labate AM, Stefanini C, Raitano A.

Istituto di Clinica Medica 1, Ospedale S. Orsola, University Alma Mater of Bologna, Italy.

1. We investigated the effects of the chronic administration of a sympathomimetic agent on energy expenditure, protein metabolism and levels of thyroid hormones and catecholamines in 10 obese subjects after a 6-week very-low-calorie-diet programme (1965 kJ, 60 g of protein, 45 g of carbohydrates). L-(-)-Ephedrine hydrochloride (50 mg three times a day by mouth) or placebo were administered during 2-week periods (weeks 2-5 of the VLCD programme) in a randomized, double-blind, cross-over design. Five subjects began with ephedrine and five with placebo. 2. The results were analysed separately in the two groups. No difference was found between them as regards weight loss during the very-low-calorie diet and drug treatments. Conversely, ephedrine therapy induced a significantly lower daily urinary excretion of nitrogen (and, consequently, a better nitrogen balance) with respect to placebo, independently of the drug sequence. Daily urinary levels of 3-methylhistidine during ephedrine and placebo treatments were similar. The fasting resting metabolic rate (oxygen consumption, ml STP/min) fell significantly during the very-low-calorie diet in both groups, but this effect was partially and significantly prevented by administration of ephedrine. Diet therapy significantly reduced 24 h urine levels of vanillylmandelic acid and homovanillic acid, which, however, increased to pretreatment values during ephedrine treatment. No significant effects were shown on 24 h urinary concentrations of adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine during the very-low-calorie diet and/or ephedrine treatment.

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In bold is the crucial information although i advise reading entire post

This has been done and stickied before by far more knowledgeable posters than I but even so i get asked on a near enough daily basis by those planning their first cycle or more worryingly those who have already started their first cycle "what should i do for pct?" or "does this PCT look ok?" 

so without further ado i'll try to keep things short n sweet

the cycle itself is what's shutting you down so where better to start than to do our best to minimize suppresion

HCG 500iu pinned on mondays and thursday (1000iu per week total) from your first shot of gear until a week prior to starting clomid

 video on preparing your hcg which must be stored in the fridge once mixed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBcRZte98-g

oestrogen is far more suppresive than testosterone yet many will preach to only use an aromatase inhibitor if you start getting itchy nipples (signs of gyno) this is a ridiculous indicator of when to use an AI imo as high oestrogen doesnt always present in the form of gyno and if allowed to run rampant will definitely make recovery that much harder not to mention all the other health risks associated with elevated oestrogen

 you should use an AI from day one of your cycle, preferably aromasin as it has little effects on lipids unlike arimidex and letrozole plus it's a suicide inhibitor so there is much less risk of rebound

I advise people to run 12.5mg aromasin ED from the start of their cycle and adjust from there, the chances of driving oestrogen too low whilst on 5 times the normal amount of test that a male produces is relatively slim as the body likes to maintain homoeostasis between oestrogen and testosterone, test rises = oestrogen rises

here's a good guide for how to gauge where abouts your oestrogen is - http://www.superiormuscle.com/forums/steroid-articles/59096-estrogen-handbook 
ideally we'd all be getting bloods done but if you've overlooked PCT then id be surprised if blood tests were high on your list of priorities 

here is a rough guide of the start times for PCT after your final shot: 

"Below you'll find starting times for your PCT based on the active life of each compound. The active life is the duration of time it takes for the exogenous hormone to be absorbed, utilized, and expelled; no longer being bioavailable. Keep in mind that active life is an approximation which is dependant on dose, ester, as well as the individuals metabolization of the compound ; but for the moderate user, these are as close to precise as you'll find.

Anadrol /Anapolan: 24 hours after last administration 
Deca : 21 days after last injection
Dianabol : 24 hours after last administration 
Equipoise : 21 days after last injection 
Fina: 3 days after last injection 
Primobolan depot: 14 days after last injection 
Sustanon : 18 days after last injection 
Testosterone Cypionate : 18 days after last injection 
Testosterone Enanthate : 14 days after last injection 
Testosterone Propionate : 3 days after last injection 
Testosterone Suspension : 24 hours after last administration 
Winstrol : 24 hours after last administration"

the above chart has loose estimates at best as it doesn't take into consideration how long you've been on or what dosages you've used but assuming you've ran test enth at 500mg every week for 12-15 weeks id advise leaving 21 days after your final shot before starting PCT

during this time you continue to run your HCG at 500iu twice per week until the last 7 days prior to starting PCT when you cease HCG usage

you then run

Clomid 100/100/100/50/50                                        5 weeks total

Nolva   40/20/20/20/20/20/20                                         7 weeks total

Aromasin 25/25/12.5/12.5/  followed by 12.5 EOD       5 weeks total


/100/ represents 100mg ED for a week

OTC supplements that assist in PCT - 

Vitamin d3 5000iu 
Vitamin c 500mg twice a day AM/PM (1000mg total)

mix up 50 grams of BCAA powder in a litre bottle of water and drink throughout the day in between meals, do this every day for the duration of your pct and also sip a BCAA drink during training

and if you havnt already been using it on cycle now would be a good time to start using creatine


during pct your body will happily dispose of all that hard earned muscle if you don't make the environment perfect for it to justify holding onto it, do this by keeping intensity high but sessions slightly shorter, train no more than 4 days per week ideally 3 with a days rest in between each session, drop cardio for the duration of pct, eat in a very slight surplus, keep your protein high and get plenty of sleep (ideally sleep without setting an alarm and wake up naturally)


Dave Crosland's take  on PCT - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEOfjebN1qs

Dr Michael Scally radio talk - http://www.rxmuscle.com/2013-01-11-01-57-36/blue-collar-muscle/10119-blue-collar-radio-with-shelby-starnes-john-meadows-01-31-14-this-week-john-and-shelby-talk-to-michael-scally-an-expert-on-anabolic-steroid-side-effects.html

 

good post that mate! seeing as you are clearly clued up on post cycle treatment may it be worth outlining the power pct for people aswel unless ive missed that?

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good post that mate! seeing as you are clearly clued up on post cycle treatment may it be worth outlining the power pct for people aswel unless ive missed that?

the PCT i outlined is a spin off of Scally's Power PCT

i think even Dr.Scally himself advocates starting clomid therapy post HCG use now 

but yes i agree that for those who wish to see the original PCT that this one is based off - 
http://www.uk-muscle.co.uk/topic/92206-the-famous-power-pct-program-by-dr-michael-scally/

study results - http://www.medibolics.com/pdfs/ScallyVergelAstractHPGA.pdf 

but again its worth noting that if you do decide to go with the power PCT as opposed to the one ive outlined above then run your HCG blast based on the active life above of which ever compound you've ran (dose and duration dependant) and then start your clomiphene and tamoxifen 3 days after your final shot of HCG

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the PCT i outlined is a spin off of Scally's Power PCT
i think even Dr.Scally himself advocates starting clomid therapy post HCG use now 

but yes i agree that for those who wish to see the original PCT that this one is based off - 
http://www.uk-muscle.co.uk/topic/92206-the-famous-power-pct-program-by-dr-michael-scally/


but again its worth noting that if you do decide to go with the power PCT as opposed to the one ive outlined above then run your HCG blast based on the active life above of which ever compound you've ran (dose and duration dependant) and then start your clomiphene and tamoxifen 3 days after your final shot of HCG

thanks mate always handy as I know a lot of guys say then run hcg throughout but don't and end up in a pickle

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I agree on everything. But I have a doubt. I, during serm not use AI. I use only nolva + clomid. The ai I will use until aas and gonasi are still in my body. It seems to me that even Dr. Scally suggests this therapy. I've always recovered the axis HPTA with this method. What do you think about it? sorry for my English

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I agree on everything. But I have a doubt. I, during serm not use AI. I use only nolva + clomid. The ai I will use until aas and gonasi are still in my body. It seems to me that even Dr. Scally suggests this therapy. I've always recovered the axis HPTA with this method. What do you think about it? sorry for my English

i believe an ai (aromasin) should be used during PCT for its ability to increase testosterone and of course lower oestrogen (oestrogen is more suppressive than testosterone)

the mental instability during PCT can be attributed to a lot of factors including low androgens and high oestrogen, this is often confused with 'clomid blues' and from using aromasin myself during PCT i find this to stamp out any such issues

youre still going to feel somewhat low but id be willing to bet your recovery will be a damn site smoother with the use of a properly dosed AI during PCT

no you do not 'need' aromasin but like i always say "you dont NEED a pct" it will just help get things back up and running that much quicker

the whole reason for these meds after a cycle is to make the transition from exogenous hormones to naturally produced that much easier and quicker

give it a go and see how you get on





 

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I'll explain my pct:

week 1,2,3,4: [Sunday] 1000 IU hCG + 2.5 mg letrozole
                    [Thursday] 1000 IU hCG + 2.5 mg letrozole

week 5: [Sunday] 1000 IU hCG + 2.5 mg letrozole
            [Thursday] 1000 IU hCG

week 6,7,8,9: 50mg ed clomid + 20 mg ed nolvadex

I came from the following cycle: 300 mg / week testosterone propionate, 152 mg week parabolan (2.5 mg letrozole Sunday and Thursday). No hcg during, unfortunately ...  What do you think? last year I found myself well with this pct (blood tests have been clear). The next cycle will begin using hcg During ;)

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I'll explain my pct:

week 1,2,3,4: [Sunday] 1000 IU hCG + 2.5 mg letrozole
                    [Thursday] 1000 IU hCG + 2.5 mg letrozole

week 5: [Sunday] 1000 IU hCG + 2.5 mg letrozole
            [Thursday] 1000 IU hCG

week 6,7,8,9: 50mg ed clomid + 20 mg ed nolvadex

I came from the following cycle: 300 mg / week testosterone propionate, 152 mg week parabolan (2.5 mg letrozole Sunday and Thursday). No hcg during, unfortunately ...  What do you think? last year I found myself well with this pct (blood tests have been clear). The next cycle will begin using hcg During ;)

ditch the letro, its overkill, aromasin will suffice during your hcg blast, you can always run nolvadex alongside if gyno is an issue as there is no interaction between the two

It's clomid you want to wait until 3 days after your last shot of hcg

In terms of your clomid and nolvadex dosing I prefer what I put in the original post but it's your choice, if nothing else I'd say atleast double up your clomid for the first two weeks 

 

 

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Here's a thread i started on lowering cortisol during PCT 


hackskii provided some good info and a list of supplements that can be used during PCT to lower cortisol 

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interesting point about the running an AI during PCT,

from what i understand you run an AI during cycle to control the high estro, but when youve no test left in the body during PCT wont the AI just kill it completely?

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