After a cycle of any SARMs – a period of time during which the user has taken the daily dosage of their SARM, or SARMs, of choice – comes another fundamental part of the process: the post cycle therapy, or PCT.
Why is SARMs PCT needed?
During a cycle of SARMs, the androgen receptors which the SARMs bind with lead the body to naturally produce testosterone, helping achieve the desired effect on the targeted tissues – be it muscle, skeletal, or fat.
As the body registers the increase in androgens, the user’s pituitary gland will balance it out by signalling to the testicles to diminish, or cease, the production of testosterone. Without a post-cycle therapy, this production may be slow to start again, leading to hormonal imbalances and, potentially, to undesired side effects, as well as the loss of muscle mass.
The PCT aims to quickly normalise the production of endogenous hormones. White it may seem counterintuitive, this is how users can avoid a drop in testosterone: PCT leads the body to resume its normal production of testosterone and allows it to recalibrate. To this end, SERMs – Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators – are often used in PCT.
When is PCT needed?
PCT is recommended for use after a cycle of most compounds – be it steroids, prohormones, or SARMs – that is meant to help improve performance, muscle mass and strength. With SARMs, however, there are a few exceptions.
Ibutamoren-MK-677, for example, does not require a PCT: while it is classed as a SARM, it is a mimic of a growth hormone secretagogue (GHS). The same goes as Cardarine GW-501516 and Stenabolic SR-9009, as neither is a ‘proper’ SARM. Some studies suggest that Ligandrol LGD-4033, which is effective in very small doses, may not need a PCT, as clinical studies have shown testosterone back to normal levels within 21 days after the end of the cycle. Ostarine MK-2866 may also not require PCT, but only when taken in doses below 20mg for a cycle no longer than 8 weeks.
Other SARMs, such as Myostine YK-11, do require a PCT. This can start as soon as the SARM cycle ends, with no need for the week-long waiting period that is usually recommended after a cycle of anabolic steroids.
What is the best PCT for SARMs?
Some of the best and most used PCT options are SERMs, and include:
Nolvadex – the brand name for Tamoxifen, a hormone therapy for breast cancer in both women and men – is a SERM that decreases testosterone by interacting with the pituitary gland. It should be taken in larger doses for the first two weeks, around 40mg daily, and then in smaller 20mg doses for the remaining two.
Clomid, or clomiphene, is also a SERM, usually prescribed to women for infertility issues. By blocking estrogen interactions with the pituitary gland, Clomid decreases the Luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone, leading in turn to a decrease in testosterone. Like Nolvadex, it should be taken at a higher dosage (50mg) the first two weeks, followed by 25mg daily for the following two.
The Human Chorionic Gonadotropin hormone restores normal testosterone production by the Luteinizing hormone, which triggers the production and release of testosterone. It is normally used alongside Nolvadex or Clomid. The usual dosage is 500-1000 iu per day over the course of 2 to 8 weeks. It should be used with caution, as prolonged use may hinder the body’s ability to make the Luteinizing hormone.
While users may continue to exercise during their SARMs PCT period, overexertion is not advised, as the body needs this time to balance out.