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Type-IIx

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That's my interpretation. The problem is I don't what the units of measure are. I can't find the study now but it's referenced in the Anabolics series too.

For a practical anecdote, when I did PCT I did all the normal Clomid/Nolvadex protocols and usually still crashed. About week 5-6 I'd take a single shot of hCG and be back to normal again afterwards. I then started using hCG in PCT before moving it to on cycle in a TRT support type protocol and did really well.
+1 for hCG on cycle at a sane dose. I once experimented with 'blasting' hCG post-cycle before I learned the ways, and it was a mistake. Horrible acne, mood. It likely kills Leydig cells as well. Much better to start hCG after 4-5 weeks on any cycle beyond 6 weeks.
 

J2theZ

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+1 for hCG on cycle at a sane dose. I once experimented with 'blasting' hCG post-cycle before I learned the ways, and it was a mistake. Horrible acne, mood. It likely kills Leydig cells as well. Much better to start hCG after 4-5 weeks on any cycle beyond 6 weeks.
 

J2theZ

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+1 for hCG on cycle at a sane dose. I once experimented with 'blasting' hCG post-cycle before I learned the ways, and it was a mistake. Horrible acne, mood. It likely kills Leydig cells as well. Much better to start hCG after 4-5 weeks on any cycle beyond 6 weeks.
By sane amount are you talking like 500ui a week? I am going to stick with 200mg of test so perhaps should that dosage of hcg be even lower? I really want to limit the unneeded raised estrogen levels and try to avoid having to take an AI unless it’s necessary
 

Kaladryn

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So how does the body start producing testosterone naturally again if lh and fsh levels could be completely tanked? You sound like you have don’t a few cycles in your day, did you do no pct on your first few and do you still not do them? Or the more you do the less likely your body to naturally rebound?
The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal Axis (HPGA): The GNRH is produced in the brain and stimulates the production of LH and FSH, these then stimulate Leydig cells in the testes to produce Testosterone. Now, here is the feedback system: test aromatizes into Estradiol which goes back to the hypothalamus in the brain and INHIBITS GNRH. More estradiol=less GNRH. At this point, it is important to note that DHT (also metabolized from testosterone) ALSO inhibits LH/FSH production at supraphysiological levels (i.e. when taking testosterone).

So, understanding the above, let's break it down: when you are shut down, GNRH is off, LH/FSH are off, and Leydig cells aren't being stimulated to produce testosterone. This is believed (maybe proved) to cause a decrease in the number of Leydig cells. Your brain can still produce GNRH and LH/FSH, they are signaled to be off from an abundance of Estradiol and DHT (anything DHT does other androgens probably also do to varying degrees btw, but this isn't important).

So, what is the perfect environment for post cycle recovery? Conditions that signal GNRH and LH/FSH to turn on: Low Estradiol and low DHT (androgens), low E2 (estradiol) being the most important one.

What can be a hindrance to recovery at this point? Lost Leydig cells from being on too long. What is the solution? Some doctors have suggested "keeping the horses in the barn" by doing very low amounts of HCG during cycle, this is usually in the range of 200-500iu (250iu is common I think) once or twice a week. HCG mimics LH/FSH and will stimulate Leydig cells and theoretically keep them around (zero proof or studies on any of this, but the logic is sound). While this is somewhat effective, HCG can be expensive (because of that dumb HCG diet omg) and HCG is "estrogenic" (one of my favorite TRT docs likes to say).

Now let's talk about the problem with "PCT." Nolvadex blocks estradiol receptors, this tricks the hypothalamus into producing GNRH, which will then stimulate LH/FSH (as long as too much DHT/androgen isn't present), this then stimulates Test production and that test aromatizes into E2, but that E2 has the same problem, it can't (negatively) stimulate GNRH because of the nolvadex. Now you remove the nolvadex and instantly have perfect conditions for shutting you back down: high E2. Clomid works in very similar way, and it is important to note that clomid has E2 blocking metabolites that stay in the body for up to 6 weeks or longer (hasn't been researched but there are case studies on it). HCG mimics LH/FSH which stimulates Test production, which aromatizes into E2, which shuts down GNRH and LH/FSH. HCG is NOT a tool for recovery as you can see, it just keeps GNRH and LH/FSH turned off.

Now you can see the problem unless these PCTs are somehow fixing the Leydig cell issue (which is highly unlikely), they are just going to keep you shut down longer, but if you are jumping right back on cycle after a few months, you will probably never notice that your PCT didn't work, in fact, your PCT will just be a bridge between cycles to keep test high (probably supraphysiological also btw, easy to do with these drugs).

Now with the understanding you have from the above (and if you got all that, you now understand the HPGA better than many doctors), you can try to create the "perfect recovery" conditions: You are coming off cycle, androgen levels are falling, estrogen is probably going to be high, you may want to 'control' that estrogen as androgens levels fall so that you can reach your goal of LOW TEST and LOW E2 evenly. You don't want to spend a bunch of time at low T and high E2, this will delay recovery. This could be as simple as taking a little nolvadex as your esters are clearing, with the goal of having the nolvadex out of your system at the same time as your T levels are getting very low. You may also want to do what you can to keep Leydig cells around, this could be HCG on cycle, or better yet, just don't stay on cycle forever, come off, let your body recover (hardly anyone actually does this, turns out AAS are super psychologically addicting also).

One further word regarding AIs, while they seem to be somewhat of a solution to a lot of this, they really are not. Unfortunately, AIs cause (and this is in the words of an endocrinologist) "hyperactive aromatase" and there is no reason to think suicidal AIs offer any protection from this (old broscience rumor that has really taken hold as of late). Also, while AIs can lower E2, they will stimulate Test production which will raise androgens and can shut down LH/FSH.

A bit of personal broscience: I think that reductase (that converts Test to DHT) also becomes somewhat 'hyperactive' on supraphysiological of androgens and that this can delay recovery via the androgen feedback pathway, a little finasteride while esters are clearing may help with this.
 

J2theZ

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The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal Axis (HPGA): The GNRH is produced in the brain and stimulates the production of LH and FSH, these then stimulate Leydig cells in the testes to produce Testosterone. Now, here is the feedback system: test aromatizes into Estradiol which goes back to the hypothalamus in the brain and INHIBITS GNRH. More estradiol=less GNRH. At this point, it is important to note that DHT (also metabolized from testosterone) ALSO inhibits LH/FSH production at supraphysiological levels (i.e. when taking testosterone).

So, understanding the above, let's break it down: when you are shut down, GNRH is off, LH/FSH are off, and Leydig cells aren't being stimulated to produce testosterone. This is believed (maybe proved) to cause a decrease in the number of Leydig cells. Your brain can still produce GNRH and LH/FSH, they are signaled to be off from an abundance of Estradiol and DHT (anything DHT does other androgens probably also do to varying degrees btw, but this isn't important).

So, what is the perfect environment for post cycle recovery? Conditions that signal GNRH and LH/FSH to turn on: Low Estradiol and low DHT (androgens), low E2 (estradiol) being the most important one.

What can be a hindrance to recovery at this point? Lost Leydig cells from being on too long. What is the solution? Some doctors have suggested "keeping the horses in the barn" by doing very low amounts of HCG during cycle, this is usually in the range of 200-500iu (250iu is common I think) once or twice a week. HCG mimics LH/FSH and will stimulate Leydig cells and theoretically keep them around (zero proof or studies on any of this, but the logic is sound). While this is somewhat effective, HCG can be expensive (because of that dumb HCG diet omg) and HCG is "estrogenic" (one of my favorite TRT docs likes to say).

Now let's talk about the problem with "PCT." Nolvadex blocks estradiol receptors, this tricks the hypothalamus into producing GNRH, which will then stimulate LH/FSH (as long as too much DHT/androgen isn't present), this then stimulates Test production and that test aromatizes into E2, but that E2 has the same problem, it can't (negatively) stimulate GNRH because of the nolvadex. Now you remove the nolvadex and instantly have perfect conditions for shutting you back down: high E2. Clomid works in very similar way, and it is important to note that clomid has E2 blocking metabolites that stay in the body for up to 6 weeks or longer (hasn't been researched but there are case studies on it). HCG mimics LH/FSH which stimulates Test production, which aromatizes into E2, which shuts down GNRH and LH/FSH. HCG is NOT a tool for recovery as you can see, it just keeps GNRH and LH/FSH turned off.

Now you can see the problem unless these PCTs are somehow fixing the Leydig cell issue (which is highly unlikely), they are just going to keep you shut down longer, but if you are jumping right back on cycle after a few months, you will probably never notice that your PCT didn't work, in fact, your PCT will just be a bridge between cycles to keep test high (probably supraphysiological also btw, easy to do with these drugs).

Now with the understanding you have from the above (and if you got all that, you now understand the HPGA better than many doctors), you can try to create the "perfect recovery" conditions: You are coming off cycle, androgen levels are falling, estrogen is probably going to be high, you may want to 'control' that estrogen as androgens levels fall so that you can reach your goal of LOW TEST and LOW E2 evenly. You don't want to spend a bunch of time at low T and high E2, this will delay recovery. This could be as simple as taking a little nolvadex as your esters are clearing, with the goal of having the nolvadex out of your system at the same time as your T levels are getting very low. You may also want to do what you can to keep Leydig cells around, this could be HCG on cycle, or better yet, just don't stay on cycle forever, come off, let your body recover (hardly anyone actually does this, turns out AAS are super psychologically addicting also).

One further word regarding AIs, while they seem to be somewhat of a solution to a lot of this, they really are not. Unfortunately, AIs cause (and this is in the words of an endocrinologist) "hyperactive aromatase" and there is no reason to think suicidal AIs offer any protection from this (old broscience rumor that has really taken hold as of late). Also, while AIs can lower E2, they will stimulate Test production which will raise androgens and can shut down LH/FSH.

A bit of personal broscience: I think that reductase (that converts Test to DHT) also becomes somewhat 'hyperactive' on supraphysiological of androgens and that this can delay recovery via the androgen feedback pathway, a little finasteride while esters are clearing may help with this.
Wow that is definitely a lot of information and I appreciate your help. So here is what I am thinking for my first cycle then:

14 weeks
200mg test e per week

last 10 weeks - 500ui of hcg a week

Aromasin on hand just in case

Thoughts? - Do I need aromasin or can I substitute it for something cheaper during cycle to control gyno if that’s an issue?

thanks again
 

Type-IIx

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Wow that is definitely a lot of information and I appreciate your help. So here is what I am thinking for my first cycle then:

14 weeks
200mg test e per week

last 10 weeks - 500ui of hcg a week

Aromasin on hand just in case

Thoughts? - Do I need aromasin or can I substitute it for something cheaper during cycle to control gyno if that’s an issue?

thanks again
J2theZ, consider that a superior education on structuring every single cycle you will ever run, with the potential to never make a misstep as all of us have, if you grasp and implement that. It's basically perfect.
 

Stewie

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One thing you may want to consider, is staying within a consistent basis of sufficiently hydrated. On this particular set of labs, you're definitely not very well hydrated.

Your calculated osmolality (simplicity, cellular hydration) of each analyte-Na (sodium), K (potassium), BUN and glucose= 299mOsm/kg. Normal Range =285 - 295 mOsm/kg.

Above 295mOsm/kg is highly suggestive of dehydration in an otherwise healthy individual.

Make peace with fluids and electrolytes.
 

J2theZ

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One thing you may want to consider, is staying within a consistent basis of sufficiently hydrated. On this particular set of labs, you're definitely not very well hydrated.

Your calculated osmolality (simplicity, cellular hydration) of each analyte-Na (sodium), K (potassium), BUN and glucose= 299mOsm/kg. Normal Range =285 - 295 mOsm/kg.

Above 295mOsm/kg is highly suggestive of dehydration in an otherwise healthy individual.

Make peace with fluids and electrolytes.
I know I agree. That was going to be my follow up about diet while on cycle. I wasn’t tracking my macros over the winter so I am probably around 12-15% bf. I want to lean out which is why I initially had anavar on the cycle. Should I do a full cut and lean out and then hop on the cycle? Naturally, you need to be in a surplus to gain weight or deficit to lose, does taking testosterone change that at all? If I was in a slight deficit would I still build muscle while losing fat with the increased hormones? Do you lose fat while on cycle even in a surplus is your diet is in check and good foods? Or is it same rules as dieting naturally?
 

Kaladryn

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Wow that is definitely a lot of information and I appreciate your help. So here is what I am thinking for my first cycle then:

14 weeks
200mg test e per week

last 10 weeks - 500ui of hcg a week

Aromasin on hand just in case

Thoughts? - Do I need aromasin or can I substitute it for something cheaper during cycle to control gyno if that’s an issue?

thanks again
Because this is your first cycle, I will tell you a fictional story of how I imagine I would do it if I could back in time:

1. I would do at least one bodybuilding diet and novice show natty. This is one of Chris Aceto's ideas and it really helps for later shows when not natty, plus gives a good baseline education on eating, probably the most important compliment to the following steps. (I did not do this)

2. I'd find a good doctor, one I could trust, I'd be frank with him about what I want to do and ask him to monitor me and prescribe me test and ancillaries. I'd get baseline bloodwork. (I did do this)
2a. I'd see a nutritionist and get food allergy testing done, an unnatural person has to eat an unnatural amount. (I did do this)

3. I'd start at 200mg/week with the goal of kicking it up to 300mg within 4-6 weeks (assuming lack of sides), at this point I'd get an Estradiol (sensitive, MS/LC) test done and assess AI use (doctor is a huge help here). I'd then push another 4-6 weeks at 300mg and do the same E2 assessment again if continuing, adjust AI if necessary. Note that AI dosage would probably start either 6mg aromasin 2x/week or .25mg adex 2x/week and only if E2 was getting pretty high (40+? it's an individual thing often). Super easy to crash your E2, don't let it happen.

4. At this point I'd make an assessment, am I coming off, am I increasing to 400mg? (assuming I didn't decide to stay at 200mg this whole time for some reason, then this might be 300mg).

5. For HCG I'd probably do 250iu 2x/week in weeks 6-10 (if I was using an AI), if I waited until later to start an AI, I would probably wait to add the HCG in until the AI was present. I'm starting the HCG pretty late here because I won't get instantly shut down on first cycle.

6. When I came off I'd calculate my ester clearance time and estimate when the synthetic test would be 'mostly' gone (under natty levels) and I'd time 1-2 weeks of nolvadex+finasteride during the end of this period (very low amount of each, probably 10mg and 1mg respectively) stopping them so their halflife clearance time will line up with the synthetic test. I'd stay lean during this time, workout hard but not overtrain, and not eat calorie-restricted, not the easiest combo to achieve post cycle.
 

Kaladryn

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I know I agree. That was going to be my follow up about diet while on cycle. I wasn’t tracking my macros over the winter so I am probably around 12-15% bf. I want to lean out which is why I initially had anavar on the cycle. Should I do a full cut and lean out and then hop on the cycle? Naturally, you need to be in a surplus to gain weight or deficit to lose, does taking testosterone change that at all? If I was in a slight deficit would I still build muscle while losing fat with the increased hormones? Do you lose fat while on cycle even in a surplus is your diet is in check and good foods? Or is it same rules as dieting naturally?
Get Chris Aceto's book, Championship Bodybuilding as a baseline and then keep educating yourself. I wouldn't want to worry about leaning out on my first cycle so I could get the most out of it. You will probably lean out on cycle because you won't eat as much as you should. Your idea of getting lean first is probably a great idea.
 

Type-IIx

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Because this is your first cycle, I will tell you a fictional story of how I imagine I would do it if I could back in time:

1. I would do at least one bodybuilding diet and novice show natty. This is one of Chris Aceto's ideas and it really helps for later shows when not natty, plus gives a good baseline education on eating, probably the most important compliment to the following steps. (I did not do this)

2. I'd find a good doctor, one I could trust, I'd be frank with him about what I want to do and ask him to monitor me and prescribe me test and ancillaries. I'd get baseline bloodwork. (I did do this)
2a. I'd see a nutritionist and get food allergy testing done, an unnatural person has to eat an unnatural amount. (I did do this)

3. I'd start at 200mg/week with the goal of kicking it up to 300mg within 4-6 weeks (assuming lack of sides), at this point I'd get an Estradiol (sensitive, MS/LC) test done and assess AI use (doctor is a huge help here). I'd then push another 4-6 weeks at 300mg and do the same E2 assessment again if continuing, adjust AI if necessary. Note that AI dosage would probably start either 6mg aromasin 2x/week or .25mg adex 2x/week and only if E2 was getting pretty high (40+? it's an individual thing often). Super easy to crash your E2, don't let it happen.

4. At this point I'd make an assessment, am I coming off, am I increasing to 400mg? (assuming I didn't decide to stay at 200mg this whole time for some reason, then this might be 300mg).

5. For HCG I'd probably do 250iu 2x/week in weeks 6-10 (if I was using an AI), if I waited until later to start an AI, I would probably wait to add the HCG in until the AI was present. I'm starting the HCG pretty late here because I won't get instantly shut down on first cycle.

6. When I came off I'd calculate my ester clearance time and estimate when the synthetic test would be 'mostly' gone (under natty levels) and I'd time 1-2 weeks of nolvadex+finasteride during the end of this period (very low amount of each, probably 10mg and 1mg respectively) stopping them so their halflife clearance time will line up with the synthetic test. I'd stay lean during this time, workout hard but not overtrain, and not eat calorie-restricted, not the easiest combo to achieve post cycle.
J2theZ,

For Kaladryn's 6th point of advice, you can use a site like steroidplotter.com to calculate the ester clearance time.
 

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