T Nation

HPTA Restart for TRT w/Application to Gear & PCT


KSMan, I really appreciate you laying out the HPTA Restart protocol, but I’m having some trouble understanding the way that you laid it all out and how it is worded.

A) You say to taper the SERM (Nolvadex) but you don’t say how long or over what course of time I should taper down the Nolvadex? and at what dosage I should just stop taking it?

B) I am already on your suggested TRT protocol with the exception of twice the amount of T-Cyp and twice the amount of Anastrozole(200mg/2mg/weekly). Is it necessary or even helpful to do the initial 4 week hCG only phase if you have taken hCG through your entire T-Cyp cycle?

C) Most other PCT protocols seem to suggest starting the SERM 18-26 days after the last injection of Testosterone, yet you suggest 28-42 days minimum of hCG mono therapy between the last testosterone injection and the start of PCT+Restart? does this have something to do with the half-life of Testosterone Cypionate and how it overlays with starting the SERM? Should I increase this amount of time since I am on twice the amount of Test-Cyp that you recommend?

D) Would the following timeline and dosages be an accurate PCT+HPTA restart based on the above guidelines?

Week 1-12:
100mg Testosterone Cypionate 2x weekly
250IU hCG Sub-Q e.o.d
.5mg Anastrozole 4x weekly

Week 13-16:
250IU hCG e.o.d (continue hCG at the same on-TRT dosage)
0.5mg /week Anastrozole e.o.d (lower Anastrozole dosage from 2mg /week to 0.5mg /week e.o.d immediately after last testosterone shot?)
(Run labs to make sure testes are responding to hCG monotherapy and producing endogenous Testosterone – What TT,FT levels should we be looking for at this point?)

Week 17-20:
20mg Tamoxifen e.o.d
0.5mg Anastrozole /week e.o.d

Week 21-22:
10mg Tamoxifen e.o.d
0.5mg Anastrozole /week e.o.d

Week 23-24:
10mg Tamoxifen 2x weekly
0.5mg Anastrozole /week e.o.d

Week 25-28: (You say in another thread to continue Anastrozole for 4 weeks to avoid estrogen rebound?)
0.5mg /week Anastrozole e.o.d

Week 29-30:
0.25mg /week Anastrozole e.o.d

Week 32:
Labs: LH/FSH, TT, FT, E2.

E) Is there some way to shorten this PCT+HPTA Restart without affecting safety or efficacy?

F) When you say e.o.d dosing is three times a week close enough? actual e.o.d dosing changes every other week and makes things a little more complicated to track?

Thank You so much for your time,
Gary M.


Hi KSMan - Quick Q on the restart protocol.

for 6 weeks its HCG, if bloods show acceptable T levels, do you stop HCG and start Nolvadex, or are you just adding Nolvadex and continueing HCG? before tapering off both?

IF its stop HCG and start Serm after first bloods, is there any taper down of HCG / Taper up of Nolvadex or a binary switch?



You stop hCG straight up and start tamoxifen if labs are good. (no primary testicular failure at that 4-6wk point).

You do not taper off the hCG, and you should NEVER take hCG and tamoxifen/clomid at the same time – this makes absolutely no sense to anyone that knows what they are talking about, just think about that for a minute, why would you take a drug to stimulate LH and take another drug that suppresses LH at the same time when you’re trying to recover?

Stop hCG and start tamoxifen, you should be taking anastrazole the ENTIRE time (throughout the 4-6 weeks hCG and all throughout the rest of the tamoxifen taper/PCT).

I did 4 weeks hCG and im 2 weeks into tamoxien – I am just about to get my labs back from the hCG phase (slow lab), at this point im starting to notice significant testes shrinkage – im not sure if this is normal – im guessing this is the point where the testosterone boost from the hCG has completely worn off and the tamoxifen has not had enough time to boost LH enough to stimulate testosterone production, just be aware you might deal with this as well, but it should last significantly less time than it would without proper PCT…

KSMan, is this normal at this point? or should I up my tamoxifen dosage from 20mg 3x weekly to 40mg 3x weekly? or maybe add 50mg clomid 3x weekly on top? (I have clomid sitting around). I figure its just the hCG wearing off and the tamoxifen hasn’t kicked in yet, but I’m still worried?

Good Luck,
Gary M


I don’t know if it helps anyone, but my total testosterone levels were 597 ng/mL after 4 weeks of receiving ONLY 250 IU hCG 3x weekly with .5mg anastrazole weekly, and I do not have primary testicular failure prior to starting TRT 4 months ago. My FSH and LH were COMPLETELY suppressed by the hCG at 0.2 ng/mL.

It looks like I am a prime candidate for a successful restart, time will tell.

I am 6 weeks into my PCT+Restart (4 weeks hCG, 2 weeks tamoxifen) and it feels like my testosterone levels have crashed, I’m just hoping my pituitary recovers quickly at this point.

UPDATE: My LH and FSH levels were both absurdly suppressed to nearly nothing at 0.2 ng/mL on the lab reports taken after 4 weeks hCG+Arimidex only(4 weeks post cycle) – this seems weird to me? my FSH while ON Testosterone+hCG cycle was 1.5 ng/mL, LH was still nothing, then when I came off testosterone and started HCG+arimidex PCT+Restart after 4 weeks my FSH tanked lower to 0.2 ng/mL instead of going higher? how does this make any sense? if the hCG was boosting FSH levels while on-cycle for some reason then it should have stayed the same or gone higher as the testosterone is no longer there to suppress anything?

Weird right?

To recap: ON cycle: LH 0.2 ng/ML, FSH 1.5 ng/ML – Stop cycle and do 250 IU hCG eod for 4 weeks and retest labs and I get LH 0.2 ng/ML, FSH 0.2 ng/ML?! FSH tanked when I took exogenous testosterone out of the equation? how does this make sense? shouldn’t the exogenous testosterone be suppressive to FSH?

If anyone has any thoughts on this I would LOVE to hear them.

Clearly my testes still have the capacity to function if the hCG challenge produced 600 ng/mL total testosterone levels.

Gary M


Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m considering the restart protocol so I’m trying to do as much discovery around the subject as I can. Please keep us posted on your progress.


Wait, can you try restart protocol directly with Nolvodex and never even trying HCG? I don’t have access to HCG right now but do have nolvodex.

Can I simply do

  1. 20mg Nolvodex EOD - 4 weeks
    then get lab tests done, and
    if LH/FSH and T (all 3) have improved, taper off by doing
  • Nolvodex 20MG E3D for another 2 weeks?
    (TOTAL 6 weeks)

If LH/FSH have improved but T has not (2 out of 3), then it is primary failure and do TRT?


So I’ve been doing this HPTA restart as a PCT protocol basically, I am now on week 5.2 of the tamoxifen and just got new labwork showing my levels on tamoxifen (previous labwork showed my levels on hCG).

My LH is: 4.6 mIU/mL Ref: 1.7 - 8.6
My FSH is: 1.0 mIU/mL Ref: 1.5 - 12.4
DHT is 97 ng/dL
Prolactin is 9.5 ng/mL Ref: 4.0 - 15.2
Estradiol is: 15.2 pg/mL Ref: 7.6 - 42.6
My Total Testosterone is: 799 ng/dL Ref: 264-916
My Free Testosterone is: 8.9 pg/mL Ref: 8.7 - 25.1

My previously low D3 and iron levels have improved slightly.

I’m not sure what to make of these results. I did not get my SHBG levels this time around (I probably should). I can’t tell if this is a failed restart or if its just going to take a little more time for my free T to raise up a bit more? These levels are actually a little better than my starting levels, but still not ideal, and my FSH levels seem really low?

Any suggestions?

Gary M


@KSman would a negative pregnancy test be a sure way to tell HCG is not good and not currently in your system? I got multiple negative ones on urine testing morning time, though positive on sinking the test in HCG itself and an LH of close to 0 while on first stage of the restart? Dose was 250UI EOD.