T Nation

21st Century PCT - True or Not True?


Hello eceryone from T-Nation.

Hope you are all good.

I was reading about PCT protocols and came across a few interesting posts indicating and suggesting that the use of a SERM such as Novaldex or Clomid is actually outdated and a better option would be to run an AI such as Aromasin or Arimidex along with HCG. I will copy and paste what i read so you can have a look if you like and hopefully I will get some scientific answers.

Below what i read from elsewhere

To start with, you'll have the enan ester releasing from the depot for more than 1 half-life. 5, to be exact. All PCT is damage control on estrogen. IMO, Nolva and clomid both are outdated as well as being toxic and having estrogenic effects themselves. They were better than nothing, but now's there's arimidex. Any cycle I run hCG and arimidex on-cycle and for 5 half-lives after. The copied and pasted 500x half life for enan is 14 days, but i think it's more like 10. So for enan, I would continue my on-cycle strategy for another 50 days because until that testosterone stops releasing from the depot, I'm still on cycle whether I'm pinning or not. Why anyone would use a SERM instead of an AI is beyond me, and any so-called stimulation of HPTA is resulting from lowering estrogen, the main negative feedback hormone.

Yes, SERMs are recommended for post-cycle. I'm saying that recommendation is outdated and I disagree with it. That whole idea came about before there were such things as AIs. I see no reason to try and block estrogen with something like nolva which has estrogenic effects in skeletal muscle and the liver, which lowers iGF-1 by at least 25%, causes cancer etc, when you can just stop the estrogen from occurring in the first place. It's time to move into the 21st century.

There has been recent discussion on this topic, and I thought more might be beneficial. The biological half-life or elimination half life of a substance is the time it takes for a substance (for example a metabolite, drug, signalling molecule, radioactive nuclide, or other substance) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity, as per the MeSH definition. In a medical context, half-life may also describe the time it takes for the blood plasma concentration of a substance to halve ("plasma half-life") its steady-state. The relationship between the biological and plasma half-lives of a substance can be complex, due to factors including accumulation in tissues, active metabolites, and receptor interactions.

Let's say that the half-life of Testosterone Enanthate is 14 days. (It may or may not be). This means that if you injected 500mg, then 14 days later, you would still have 250mg. It does not mean that 14 days after that you would have 0mg.

Imagine that you have a 1 liter container. You fill it with 500ml orange juice and 500ml water. You make a very small hole in the bottom, so that over the course of 14 days 500ml leaks out. At the end of 14 days, there will be 250ml each of water and juice. Add 500ml water and wait 14 days. Now you will have 125ml juice and 275ml water. Add 500ml water and wait 14 days. Now you will have 62.5ml juice and 437.5ml water. Add 500ml water and wait 14 days. You will now have 31.25ml juice and 467.75ml water. Top off with 500ml water and wait 14 days. Now after 5 half-lives, or 70 days, you are down to 15.625ml juice.

So after one 1/2, you are down to 50%, after 2x1/2, 25%. Then 12-1/2%, 6-1/4%. So it take 4 half-lives to be 94% clear. After 5 half-lives, you are 97% clear and this is when your blood and urine are considered "clean. So you can see that it also takes 4 or 5 half-lives to achieve a "steady-state" concentration. That is, for it to be eliminated as fast as it is building up.

I am going to present a simplistic model, close enough for illustrative purposes. Lets say 500 mg week Test E and a two week half-life, with once a week injections.

After one week you will inject 500mg (Injection #2), still having 375mg left from Injection#1(#1). After two weeks you will inject 500mg (#3), still having 250mg from (#1), and 375 from (#2). Three weeks = 500mg (#4) + 375mg (#3), 250mg (#2), 188mg (#1). Four weeks = 500mg (#5) + 375 (#4)+250(#3)+188(#2)+125(#1). So you see, after 2 half-lives, Injection #1 is @ 25%. By the time we get to week 10, or 5 half-lives we have 500+375+250+188+125+93+62+46+31+24+16(or 15.625 actually). You now have 1,710mg and will keep this "steady state" as long as you continue this dosing. You can see why the long esters start to "kick in" after several weeks. (You could always front-load with a couple grams a week the first two weeks.)

So, whenever you stop, you will have 1,710mg in your body. two weeks after that you will have 855mg. After 4 weeks, 427.25mg. After 6 weeks, 214mg test still hanging around. After two months you will still have over 100mg test E and this is more than "normal".

I hope this makes it more clear as to why an AI ran during PCT makes sense. And why merely blocking all this estrogen with a SERM such as nolva could conceivably lead to a rebound if discontinued too soon, and why some folks get gyno post-cycle. Personally, I feel the half-life of test E is probably closer to 10 days, but that would just mean it takes 50 days instead of 70 to build up to the steady state, and 50 days instead of 70 to be 97% clear. Either way, you're still talking supra-physiological levels well into PCT and beyond.

It also suggests to me that one could continue to sustain a higher volume training-wise, if that's what they were doing on-cycle, as you will still have considerable cortisol blockage for a good 3-4 weeks post-cycle with a long ester. After that I would decrease training volume to avoid a cortisol rebound eating at your gains.

I should add that actually, the above numbers should be reduced by 28% in the case of enanthate due to the weight of the ester. There are actually only 360mg free testosterone in 500mg of testosterone enanthate. So your actual steady state amount of free test in the above example would be 1,231mg, reducing to just over 300mg free test in 2 half-lives following cessation.

What is your opinion on this?

i am planning my next cycle of 12 weeks

Test E 500mg
Nandrolone Decaonate 400mg
Dbol 40mg week 1-4
Caba 0.5 two times a week
Dex 0.5 EOD week 1-12
HCG 250IU EOD week 1-12

This is tricky

I was thinking on something like this:

Toremifene 100/80/60/60/60
Aromasin 25/25/25/25/25

After reading those articles i am now confused and don't know wheter a SERM is actually necessary or not in PCT now.

Some of your opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Keep up the good work.



Personally, I would wait for this to be tested and confirmed dozens more times before trying it. Traditional Pct has been working for so long.... if its not broken don't fix it. This is my opinion but I air on the side of caution


On a side note...even with an AI, wouldn't estrogen be higher than normal anyway during cycle? That plus hcg itself has estrogenic effects itself. As you're running through the half lives, if your estrogen isn't dropping you could run into trouble.

Please someone correct me if im wrong


Estrogens during cycle will be higher than normal and that is why there is the use of AI to control them specifically with the various Testosterones and alike, while anti-progestin are used with substances like Deca or Tren or 19-nor. Regarding HCG i "think" that 250IU EOD will not have a great impact on increasing Estrogen considering the use of Aromasin which is considered more powerful than Arimidex but less than Letro. So the point in that article i think is that the use of HCG will combat hypogonadism which could result from heavy cycles or long ones and an AI will combat estrogens levels.

This is my understanding from what i have read so far.

Nolvadex is quite toxic too and a safer bet is toremifene which does not decrease IGF1 and is safer in terms of side effects like blod clotting, lipids, stroke etc.



anyone else??


HCG is suppressive, so not ideal for PCT. Also, if it aint broke, dont fix it.


Let's stick to the fact that HCG is suppressive during PCT. I am considering of substituting Nolva with Toremifene due to the less toxicity and no estrogenic effects in tissues and liver and also no decrease in IGF1.

What do you think about this cycle? Is it well structured for a second cycle?

Test E 500mg
Nandrolone Decaonate 400mg
Dbol 40mg week 1-4
Caba 0.5 two times a week
Dex 0.5 EOD week 1-12
HCG 250IU EOD week 1-12


Toremifene 100/80/60/40/20
Aromasin 25/25/25/12.5/12.5



Can someone help me with this please?


Help you with what?

The cycle is fine.

Just use tamoxifen at 40/40/20/20 and taper the AI into PCT and stop HCG before PCT, just as everyone has always done.


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Thanks Bro

what you mean taper the AI into PCT?

Do you mean to taper down the AI on cycle during the last weeks or to taper the Aromasin during PCT?

For example
nolva 40/40/20/20
Aromasin 25/25/12.5/12.5


If you can avoid nandrolone decanoate, then I would suggest you do so.


Hi good to see you here

Why do you say that?

I mean I have planned to use Dostinex. Wouldn't that help me for the prolactin and so i can have a better PCT to recover?

Let me know something please



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I meant taper down so you're off of it by the first or second week of PCT. I don't know, some people recommend that, I just recommend using tamoxifen when PCT starts and stopping HCG and AI use before then.



What would you use?

Don't tell me EQ - I am afraid of too much RBC floating around. Heard some bad stories.



What if put HGH into the mix.

Would things change?