T Nation

Retaining Gains

I’m interested in what happens to lean muscle gains after steroids are stopped.

in the short term some muscle must be lost, not just water i mean lean mass.

lets say you gain 40 pounds during a period of steroid cycles and lets say that if everything else was the same but you didnt use steroids you’d have gained 15 pounds over the same period.

what happens after the steroids are stopped, do you

  1. retain more than 15 pounds, i.e. end up further along in lean mass terms than you would have been if natural
  2. lose 25 pounds and go back to what you would have looked like anyway if natural
  3. lose more than 25 pounds as a ‘crash’ consequence, natural t suppression etc and actually end up worse off.

or something else?

if it’s option 2 or 3 then steroids are just a temporary boost and not useful as a shortcut to retained gains

perhaps you have some experiences to share, or strategies you’ve developed.

I think when you consider how many people have undergone numerous steroid cycles for the purposes of gaining lean mass over a long period of time, it becomes evident that No. 1 is the obvious truth.

Would so many people across the globe use them if they were only a temporary boost? Much less if the consequences lead to less mass than they began with?

If you want to gain more knowledge as to the how and if, hit the Search button (Or even Google) and type in “steroid PCT” I don’t want to condescend you if you already know what I’m talking about, but I get the impression you’re wanting to know the basics of how they work.

thanks Contrl. I had read about PCT and this seems essential in almost any cycle.

the human body hates anything to be out of balance!

what I was wondering is that, even with careful PCT, your body eventually reaches it’s natural balance between catabolism and anabolism and the effect of this on LBM.

That is to say the body has a naturally highest level of lean mass it can carry, that would have been plausible training naturally, but would have just taken longer.

Or, having gained so much during the steroid use, can the body sustain more than would have been possible with natural only training even well after ceasing to use steroids. If so that makes them more interesting, both medically and athletically.

I think that is what you are saying

i’ve only seen pics of before / after pro bb’s who always look good, though smaller of course, after they stop using, what i dont know is if they would have looked that way naturally anyway, or if they were infact still using smaller doses, or if other factors are at play. Guess the question could only be answered by a thorough study.

[quote]gswork wrote:
lets say you gain 40 pounds during a period of steroid cycles and lets say that if everything else was the same but you didnt use steroids you’d have gained 15 pounds over the same period.

what happens after the steroids are stopped, do you

  1. retain more than 15 pounds, i.e. end up further along in lean mass terms than you would have been if natural
  2. lose 25 pounds and go back to what you would have looked like anyway if natural
  3. lose more than 25 pounds as a ‘crash’ consequence, natural t suppression etc and actually end up worse off.[/quote]

A few things to add:

a) it takes a lot of eating to gain 40lbs, it won’t accidentally just happen

b) it takes a lot of not eating to lose 25lbs, but sometimes shit does happen

[quote]gswork wrote:

what I was wondering is that, even with careful PCT, your body eventually reaches it’s natural balance between catabolism and anabolism and the effect of this on LBM.

That is to say the body has a naturally highest level of lean mass it can carry, that would have been plausible training naturally, but would have just taken longer.

Or, having gained so much during the steroid use, can the body sustain more than would have been possible with natural only training even well after ceasing to use steroids. If so that makes them more interesting, both medically and athletically.

[/quote]

No. Eating and training will determine how much you retain, LBM-wise. Even a non-juicer will lose their gains if they lax in eating or training.

If you gain 40lbs on a cycle I would wager the half or more would be water and fat, probably more. This is not a realistic expectation, maybe 40lbs in 2 years and X number of cycles.

As far as keeping gains, I believe that is soley determined by estrogen and cortisol levels, followed by how you train after the weights start feeling heavier again and of course deit…