You can find details of my first cycle, results and post cycle protocol I followed at https://forums.t-nation.com/t/my-first-pct-some-questions-and-need-feedback/
Except I took Nolva at 20mg for 5 weeks days instead.
I couldn’t find any topic on retroactivity of PEDs. It interests me. I’ve done one relatively mild cycle and I can already say that the effects are permanent. It MAY be because I haven’t overshot what’s physiologically possible for my body to maintain without any support. I want to know the experience of veterans, especially those who have come off PED’s or reduced it to TRT levels. I’m following Pete Rubish, though he ain’t the average recreational lifter.
My experience so far:
-As mentioned in the post, I went from 67.5kg to 76.5 kg and had massive strength gains (Ex: Deadlift went from 135 to 185 kg).
-Gyms closed down even before starting PCT, had already injured myself due to shitty recovery, home workouts felt like shit, stopped working out, hardly followed a diet, stopped taking supplements and went into a spiral of depression as I couldn’t even go out, on top of a stressful semester in college. It’s the shittiest I’ve ever been. Some days I ate just two meals and loads of snacks. It was a disaster.
-A little over a month later I was weighing at 71.5kg, it had stabilised, I didn’t lose anymore. I was still as lean with abs.
-I had lost almost no strength, it was surprising. Though aggression, size and energy levels were far less. I had to really get in the zone to lift something heavy lol.
-Thought of making a change, started home workouts and got my nutrition in order. I felt better, maybe my natural hormone levels were coming back. Haven’t been able to get a bloodwork yet.
-A little over a month of high volume home-workout, good nutrition and supplements and today I weighed at 73.5kgs, still as lean. This is the 2nd thing which surprised me apart from almost no strength loss.
So, I gained back 2 kgs in just over a month with basic high volume home workouts, nowhere near how heavy I trained in the gym. I know most of it is water and glycogen but still, it’s surely adding to the size. And I’m still gaining mass, which I feel will be paced up even more once the gyms open.
Also, there’s a guy at my gym who gave up bodybuilding due to finances, says he’s natty now, in his late 20s and works a desk job. Definitely not the biggest guy. But, he comes to the gym in the evening after work, lifts more than anyone else, blows steam and leaves.
Here’s a mouse study on long term advantages of PED’s
Results are summarized at Brief exposure to performance-enhancing drugs may be permanently 'remembered' by muscles -- ScienceDaily
This alone throws the concept of “natty limit” out the window, there can be other permanent adaptations too apart from what’s found in the study. Still, it’s a mouse study. That’s why I’m asking for human experiences here.
My questions are:
Have you experienced the same? That is, keeping most of the strength and gaining back lost gains rapidly after going off cycle.
If yes, does it happen for heavier cycles too? And after years of cycling?
What’s do you think about this whole concept of “natural limit”? I’ve seen this term being thrown around almost everywhere without any evidence. Can be the most overused bro science. Afaik it means that we have a genetically predetermined maximum naturally maintainable amount of muscle. How is everyone so sure that this doesn’t get altered by drug use? Yes, genetic makeup can’t get altered (probably), but there are a lot of other factors too.
If you’ve come off or on TRT, do you feel the strength and size you’re at now could be acquired naturally?
I’m quite happy with my results and I’m considering a much heavier 2nd cycle. This was more of a trial cycle. It will depend on my bloodwork and the permanence of the effects.