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My first question is: Does VitaminShoppe's hair, skin, and nails really work?.
My next question is: This is from another forum but it cover's pretty much everything you HAVE to know with regards to PCT.Now you have no excuses!.
Written by Hackskii.UKM Moderator.
PCT, what does it mean?.
Post Cycle Therapy..
What does it do?.
It returns your Hypothalamus, Pituitary, Testicular, Axis (HPTA) back to producing it's own endogenous testosterone production..
How long does it last?.
Good question but in my opinion the normal 21 to 30 days protocol is too short unless suppression of the HPTA is minor..
Ok, you produce about 7 mg of testosterone a day or around 49 mg a week on average, some more, some less (usually older guys).
So, you go on a cycle of lets say 500mg of testosterone a week or about 10 times your natural production. The body sees this as too much testosterone and will lower production of testosterone to try to maintain homeostasis (balance). The body loves homeostasis..
Testosterone in a man gets converted into two other hormones; one of those hormones is DHT (dihydrotestosterone) this is done by an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductace. DHT is actually about 3-5 times more androgenic than testosterone..
The other hormone it gets converted to is estradiol (E2), this is a strong estrogen but from now on we will just refer to it as estrogen, even though there are 3 different kinds of estrogen. Testosterone gets converted into estrogen by another enzyme called aromatase. The conversion is called aromatization..
Ok, the body will convert more testosterone into estrogen probably to try and maintain homeostasis, so the more test, the more estrogen. For most this estrogen is not a problem. But for some it will be a problem and this extra estrogen can give side effects like gynecomastia (gyno) or water retention, but one big problem is estrogens suppressive effects on Luteinizing Hormone or (LH) LH is what the pituitary gland sends as a chemical hormone to the Leydig cells in the testicles where the testicles will product testosterone. Estrogen is probably 100-200 times as suppressive as testosterone..
So when LH production stops (exogenous testosterone will do this too) the testicles will stop producing and like anything not being used will atrophy..
What does this mean?.
You will get some small balls, no kidding mine have been the size of almonds without the shell..
OK, so you come off a cycle, the exogenous testosterone is tapering down and after about a couple of weeks (this is the clearance time for testosterone cypionate and enanthate) you end up with low levels of testosterone as your endogenous production has long been stopped. Now here where the problem starts. You potentially have the testosterone of a woman, and high estrogen from all that aromatization..
This can be a recipe for disaster, why? Because men need test to feel normal and not only that hard earned muscle will be eaten up by being in a catabolic environment, not to mention there is still going to be some suppression because of elevated estrogen..
I have seen big strong men carry on like crying women in this state; it is very bad, sex drive is zero, no energy, emotional, insecure, the list is long..
So, what can you do?.
First of all in my opinion bringing the nuts back online is very important, the most important. This is done with the use of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG).
It basically is pregnant womans urine. HCG mimics LH and as we learned above that LH is the chemical hormone that stimulates the Leydig cells to produce testosterone. HCG is very strong and many times stronger than the amount of LH that the pituitary puts out.
The typical dose is anywhere around 350iu to as much as 2500iu and even in some cases more but I dont recommend this. Best advice is to use as little as possible to achieve success at bringing the nuts back to life from their nice little vacation..
The half life of HCG is around 3 days or so, so Subcutaneous (Sub-Q) shots or Intramuscular Shots (IM) are done about Every Other Day (EOD or Every 3 Days (E3D)..
If you use too much for too long desentization of the Leydig cells can happen and this is not good..
One other thing is HCG aromatizes pretty heavily. So an anti estrogen is always recommended if you shoot more than 500iu and even that if you are gyno prone would be a good idea to add an anti E..
HCG comes in tow bottles or vials and one is powder and the other is a solvent or bacteriostatic water, the water gets added to the powder and this is called reconstitution. Once HCG is mixed it must be refrigerated. In bacteriostatic water it will last around a month..
Now next we want to block the hypothalamus and pituitary gland from that excess estrogen as that in itself is suppressive..
How is this done? With a drug called Clomiphene citrate (clomid). This is really a drug to help women ovulate but it acts as a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM)..
It occupys the estrogen receptors in the hypothalamus and pituitary and blocks estrogens exertion on those glands. Its like putting a key in a lock but not turning the key. It is just occupying that space without really doing anything.
Clomid in my opinion works better than another SERM that many people use called Nolvadex. Both pretty much do the same thing but together I have found to be far superior than using any of them by themselves..
Both clomid and nolva are in pill form as well as liquid form..
What these do is block estrogen. The body sees this as it is low in testosterone and estrogens suppressive effects are not there as the receptors are blocked. So it sees this as low testosterone and low estrogen so the body turns on the hypothalamus to produce Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH) which in turn tells the pituitary gland to produce LH and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). FSH is another hormone that stimulates the Sertoli cells in the testicles to produce sperm..
Ok, so lets put this all together..
There are a couple of ways you can do this..
First you can take HCG in small amounts during the cycle to maintain testicular function or you can take it after the cycle is finished to start your PCT..
Either way is fine but if the cycle is very long then long use of HCG can be a problem due to the possibility of desentization of the Leydig cells..
Thats pretty much the last thing you want to do as you want your own LH production to keep the testicles producing test..
So, what you can do is wait about 2 weeks for the testosterone to clear your system or be around base levels of normal producing test and start your HCG, clomid and nolvadex all at the same time..
You dont have to worry about the aromatization issue because both clomid and nolvadex are anti-estrogens or act as anti-estrogens in the body..
By the way nolvadex is used in estrogen sensitive cancer tissues like in treating breast cancer..
I take clomid at 50mg twice a day (12hrs apart) for 30 days..
I take nolvadex at 20 mg a day for 45 days..
I take anywhere from 1000iu EOD to 2500 EOD for 8 shots (16 days)..
So the HCG is taking care of the nuts and taking them off vacation and putting them back to work and the nolvadex and clomid will help the hypothalamus produce GnRH which will tell the pituitary to produce LH and FSH.
Once the testicles are producing test on their own you stop the administration of HCG and let the body take over..
Your question was: Does VitaminShoppe's hair, skin, and nails really work?.
Might be on his home board...
Didn't know you were a UK-M regular Gazz...?..
I'm regular.Not as so as this board and my other haunt but I pop in from time to time.Seen you on there keeping them all in check!..
Good read for a newbie Tall is correct their are a few amendments that have been made the obvious being the HCG.....
Its also come to my attention that alot of people are in the dark about what an (iu) is with regards to HCG adminstration:.
IU (international unit) definition - Medical Dictionary definitions of popular medical terms easily defined on MedTerms..
Read this twice now and a very intersting read, could this be made a sticky? could be very helpfull IMO..
Oh man, I didnt expect to see this here...lol...................
I have the newer one that has some small additions here, I will post it below. I actually wanted to add some things to it..
But to be honest 250iu does nothing to keep my nuts alive on cycle, even up to 500iu jabbing twice a week I still get atrophy during the cycle..
Recovery hinges on the testicles being online..
Most all mistakes from a bad PCT comes down to the nuts and those not producing base levels testosterone prior to keeping or starting the SERMS..
Just tried to add it and it was too big..........lol..
Ok with all the units of hcg but do you actually start injecting it the same day as the last AAS shot or do you wait two weeks, then do regular PCT? the breakdown seems important here. and how to actually practically transfer 5000 of HCG to a vial for storage?..
HCG can and probably should be shot during the cycle due to there is some speculation that LH sensitivity is compromised (leydig cells)..
I have found myself that if you keep testicular function during your cycle, recovery is easier..
I have done it during the cycle @ 500iu twice a week and I still noticed testicular atrophy..
So, I keep running HCG after last shot low dose, then during PCT where I have all my SERMS in place, I keep the HCG in there. If I have atrophy like last cycle (recent), then I bang more HCG, get the nuts rolling full throttle, then I drop the HCG and continue with the SERMS..
I did it that way this time and honestly the recovery was by far the easiest, and am way ahead of the game this time around..
Problem is this, if you dont get the nuts online and running good, you wont recover as fast. The stimulation of clomid and nolva is nothing like HCG for the nuts..
Yes clomid can double the amount of LH with 100mg dose a day, but if the nuts are not fully ready, they wont respond. This lengthens recovery..
So, using too little HCG would in fact cause this very problem above..
I would never run high doses of HCG without an AI or a SERM in place.............never..
Leydig cells being desentisized can be an issue with estrogen from HCG, with the use of nolva, this is pretty much not an issue........
Hackskii: So if I have a 5000iu vial HCG and manage to get BAC water and a 5ml sterile vial + 20 slin pins I can do 250iu per day from last AAS week and 20 days on and when the AAS is low (10-14 days from initial HCG) I do the Nolva and Clomid? Like so for a 10 weeker:.
W1-w10 500mg Test long ester + XXXmg of whichever roid you choose...
W10 250iu HCG/ed.
W11 250iu HCG/ed.
W12 250iu HCG/ed, 100mg clomid/ ed, 25-40 mg Nolva/ ed.
W13 50mg clomid/ ed, 25-40 mg Nolva/ ed.
W14 50mg clomid/ ed, 25mg Nolva/ ed.
W14 50mg clomid/ ed, 25mg Nolva/ ed..
I think I got down what I thought...any comment?.
Lotsa maths here...: )..
Well, speaking from experiance, some guys need less, some guys need more..
I always look at the overall value in iu to determine if I have enough..
I use during, then I can use 10,000 at the end starting PCT..
If I have used nothing during the cycle then 10,000 will only get me half recovered, it takes me 20,000 to do the job to allow full testicular function..
I dont like long estered gears myself, I like cypionate and enanthate...