T Nation

Bill - Your Thoughts On HPTA Recovery


#1

That's not to say that other people can't chime in, just that I'm interested in hearing Mr Roberts' opinion.

So it's fashionable these days to blast and cruise instead of PCT. If you go back 5 years or so on this forum you'll see it was all about the PCT.

The idea is, of course, that steroids need to be done for life otherwise you'll lose all your gains, and that every time you cycle you damage your HPTA, meaning you'll have less muscle naturally anyway.

I'm not convinced, though. I know loads of big, older guys who hammered the steroids when they were younger and are still big. Sure, they're not as big as if they'd kept blasting, but I'm sure they're bigger than they'd have been naturally.

I'm also not sure I'm sold on the idea of HPTA damage, either. Shadow Pro made an interesting point about how guys start using steroids in their 20s, then stop in their 30s, get bloodwork and freak out that their test is lower than it used to be, when obviously it takes a decline from your 20s into your 30s anyway. Also, as far as I'm aware there's no scientific evidence that steroids "chip away" at your HPTA.

Also, I don't get how dudes are maintaining 250lbs of muscle on TRT doses, but you lose all your gains going back to natural production. If a TRT dose puts you in the physiological range, why doesn't being in the physiological range naturally mean you can maintain the gains?

So yeah, be interested to hear your take on it, Bill.


#2

Yes Bill please do add your input.

I think Walkway got us all intrigued.


#3

[quote]Steez wrote:
Yes Bill please do add your input.

I think Walkway got us all intrigued. [/quote]

yeah Walkway’s view is quite common on bodybuilding boards. I just think it’s weird because a few years ago it was all PCT PCT PCT


#4

I’m 53 years old and still have perfectly good natural T production, having followed my own advice. It’s been the general experience of those who have consistently followed my advice that they maintained their natural T production.

I can’t really explain why others advise as they do, other than as a guess, it’s more popular to tell people sure they can do what they want to do. Go use Deca, go do 14 week cycles (or longer), do a “blast and cruise,” it’s all good bro!

Or they genuinely don’t know the consequences of their advice, or perhaps don’t much value maintaining full natural testosterone production over time. Some really don’t value it, as they’d rather always have supraphysiological levels and that preference outweighs any distaste for dependency.

But that’s just speculation: I really don’t know why, in various instances, those that advise radically differently do as they do. (In some instances it’s perfectly clear, for example where goals requires being on steroids all the time.)


#5

[quote]Yogi wrote:
Also, I don’t get how dudes are maintaining 250lbs of muscle on TRT doses, but you lose all your gains going back to natural production. If a TRT dose puts you in the physiological range, why doesn’t being in the physiological range naturally mean you can maintain the gains?[/quote]
And on the specific question:

I’ll change it to “X” pounds, as not many will indefinitely maintain 250 lb lean with genuine TRT doses.

Yes, if methods were followed where natural production isn’t impaired, then maintenance between cycles is as good as with genuine TRT.


#6

[quote]Yogi wrote:

[quote]Steez wrote:
Yes Bill please do add your input.

I think Walkway got us all intrigued. [/quote]

yeah Walkway’s view is quite common on bodybuilding boards. I just think it’s weird because a few years ago it was all PCT PCT PCT[/quote]

IMO, one factor in the change in mindset has to do with the availability of AI’s… they have truly changed how much guys can use on cycle, which means that guys are using far higher doses on cycle. 10-15 years ago, a gram a week was a big deal… now it’s pretty common. so instead of being “on” with 500 mg, now we see beginners/intermediates “on” with 1,500 mg.

the difference between PCT and blast and cruise, is that PCT is harder. you need to plan out the transition from the cycle on to SERMs and then to natural training.

it seems that once a casual lifter transitions to chemically enhanced, they abandon advanced training protocols, and rely more and more on chemicals to handle the load.


#7

It doesn’t seem to me to be inherently dosage related because I’ve been advocating a gram a week since 1998, and was by no means the first to do so.

It is indeed a huge problem that there seems no longer near as much of the seriousness that you learn how to train correctly and diligently FIRST, and only then add on with steroids. When you know how to do that, then you can do your off periods just fine. When you never really were able to do much without steroids in the first place, then of course there’s going to be incredible temptation to keep injecting every week, because (due to lack of knowledge and discipline) you’re nothing without it. There seems a lot more of that now than before.


#8

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
It doesn’t seem to me to be inherently dosage related because I’ve been advocating a gram a week since 1998, and was by no means the first to do so.

[/quote]

this might be more of a regional thing, too.

my first cycle was 250-300 mg wk of test, but they guys i knew who were on then were only running that, plus deca and d-bol. but anastrozole was more expensive than the entire rest of the cycle then, too…

now research chems have made it extremely affordable.


#9

Adding to previous post, as I missed this part of it: one way in which the higher doses can directly act towards poorer recovery is that while my gram-plus cycle plans have levels cleared back to normal range by the end of the cycle, preferably 8 weeks, less preferably 10, reluctantly 12 weeks. This is done by use of short acting injectables at the end of the cycle.

Many will do cycles of X weeks where injections continue to be with the same long-acting compound right up through the last injection of that week.

And so if the dosing is say 1000 mg/week of injectables instead of say 500 mg/week, then the period of duration is extended say another 5-7 days. And as it’s so popular to push the cycle length anyway (in terms of getting fast recovery) that added week or so would worsen the situation even more, somewhat.


#10

[quote]cycobushmaster wrote:

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
It doesn’t seem to me to be inherently dosage related because I’ve been advocating a gram a week since 1998, and was by no means the first to do so.

[/quote]

this might be more of a regional thing, too.

my first cycle was 250-300 mg wk of test, but they guys i knew who were on then were only running that, plus deca and d-bol. but anastrozole was more expensive than the entire rest of the cycle then, too…

now research chems have made it extremely affordable.[/quote]
That’s definitely true, anastrozole used to be extremely expensive (about $9/tab) and that definitely contributed to testosterone doses being less. The gram cycles usually came from combination with other injectables, which if guys were doing it on their own instead of under advisement, they were generally experienced and along with that came already knowing how to train.


#11

I’m really interested to hear opinions on the situations that require staying on. I assume this means professional bodybuilding?

As a guy in his mid 30’s that trains a significant amount of combat martial arts (for a living) I have had a very rough time in PCT. Gains have been hard to keep while off. I just feel like I am burning the candle at both ends and can’t do it all. I started a 250mg of Test per week protocol and planned on it being 8 weeks (per Bills reco in another thread) and if I was blown away I would keep on forever. Well…it has been fantastic. I can do everything I want (within reason) and feel great. Hard to walk away from that knowing I can blast and end up right there again. Am I bullshitting myself?


#12

[quote]KountKoma wrote:
I’m really interested to hear opinions on the situations that require staying on. I assume this means professional bodybuilding?

As a guy in his mid 30’s that trains a significant amount of combat martial arts (for a living) I have had a very rough time in PCT. Gains have been hard to keep while off. I just feel like I am burning the candle at both ends and can’t do it all. I started a 250mg of Test per week protocol and planned on it being 8 weeks (per Bills reco in another thread) and if I was blown away I would keep on forever. Well…it has been fantastic. I can do everything I want (within reason) and feel great. Hard to walk away from that knowing I can blast and end up right there again. Am I bullshitting myself?[/quote]

Sounds like this has to be a personal decision lol. I doubt anyone can answer this for you.


#13

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:

Many will do cycles of X weeks where injections continue to be with the same long-acting compound right up through the last injection of that week.
[/quote]

I’ve thought about this before and it seems extremely interesting.

So if I’m understanding correctly… if one were running say 700-750mg of test-E a week for a 12 week cycle 2 weeks before end of cycle switch over to prop running 100 ed or eod that way you can go right into PCT at end?


#14

[quote]cycobushmaster wrote:

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
It doesn’t seem to me to be inherently dosage related because I’ve been advocating a gram a week since 1998, and was by no means the first to do so.

[/quote]

this might be more of a regional thing, too.

my first cycle was 250-300 mg wk of test, but they guys i knew who were on then were only running that, plus deca and d-bol. but anastrozole was more expensive than the entire rest of the cycle then, too…

now research chems have made it extremely affordable.[/quote]

Indian generics are even cheaper now. There are several online pharmacies where AIs can be purchased w/o prescription.


#15

[quote]KountKoma wrote:
I’m really interested to hear opinions on the situations that require staying on. I assume this means professional bodybuilding?

As a guy in his mid 30’s that trains a significant amount of combat martial arts (for a living) I have had a very rough time in PCT. Gains have been hard to keep while off. I just feel like I am burning the candle at both ends and can’t do it all. I started a 250mg of Test per week protocol and planned on it being 8 weeks (per Bills reco in another thread) and if I was blown away I would keep on forever. Well…it has been fantastic. I can do everything I want (within reason) and feel great. Hard to walk away from that knowing I can blast and end up right there again. Am I bullshitting myself?[/quote]

if you don’t mind me asking, aare you a competitor or instructor? what kind of martial arts?

honestly, as long as you get regular check ups, i think you can stay on an “enhanced TRT” for a long time… that’s what i’m kicking around right now, as i’ve been trying to sort out some other health issues.


#16

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]cycobushmaster wrote:

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
It doesn’t seem to me to be inherently dosage related because I’ve been advocating a gram a week since 1998, and was by no means the first to do so.

[/quote]

this might be more of a regional thing, too.

my first cycle was 250-300 mg wk of test, but they guys i knew who were on then were only running that, plus deca and d-bol. but anastrozole was more expensive than the entire rest of the cycle then, too…

now research chems have made it extremely affordable.[/quote]

Indian generics are even cheaper now. There are several online pharmacies where AIs can be purchased w/o prescription.[/quote]

good point.

it’s a different climate now, then it was a while back…

maybe it was a good thing everybody freaked out about the pro-hormones and banned the shit out of them… kinda got them distracted.


#17

[quote]KountKoma wrote:
I’m really interested to hear opinions on the situations that require staying on. I assume this means professional bodybuilding?[/quote]

It’s also not unusual among powerlifters to way to stay “on” continuously.

It’s interesting that you did so very well on such a low dose. It does happen sometimes: I’ve seen really dramatic changes on just 250 mg/week but only rarely. Might it be the case – it doesn’t have to be so, but would be relevant if so – that your free testosterone was somewhat low going into it, making the difference more dramatic?

Something you can look at if desired is seeing what degree of “supplementation” you can use that still keeps LH in a good range. For example, I’ve found I can use 100 mg/week Masteron and still keep good LH. It’s not my general practice but as experimentation, it worked well. LH testing is inexpensive.


#18

[quote]nooberific wrote:

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:

Many will do cycles of X weeks where injections continue to be with the same long-acting compound right up through the last injection of that week.
[/quote]

I’ve thought about this before and it seems extremely interesting.

So if I’m understanding correctly… if one were running say 700-750mg of test-E a week for a 12 week cycle 2 weeks before end of cycle switch over to prop running 100 ed or eod that way you can go right into PCT at end? [/quote]

That’s it, indeed.


#19

Dr. Roberts:

I have a personal question and don’t mean to hijack the thread, but I think it may inform the discussion.

I’m on 140mg of Testosterone Cypionate weekly for TRT. I have kids and am not interested in more. I have no problem with testicular atrophy (have it, just not an issue). I am blasting 125mg of Test prop EOD with .25g of anastrozole E3D and have no sides.

When my cycle ends, can I just go back to my weekly TRT dose and grapeseed extract, (my usual protocol on TRT) instead of the anastrozole, with no PCT, and live happily ever after?

Thanks!


#20

This is good stuff. Been a while since we had some good discussions on here.