No, a serm is not neccessary in my opinon. It is optional following the taper, but I recomend blood work be done first.
In deciding to use a serm post taper:
Comparative blood work is best - vs before the cycle to find out where you are at. But I firmly believe there isn't a need for any serm use at all during the taper, since the entire focus of the taper is returing the body to NATURAL homeostasis.
using nolva or clomid doesn't achieve this.
Does this mean that it may improve recovery if you use the serm? I can't answer this question. The research produced in the orrigional article bears out the values of using a serm with low levels of testosterone replacement:
"Further, there is evidence to show that using an anti-E concurrently with 100 mg of test E per week, so that E is prevented from binding with the receptors in the Hypothalamus prevents any shutdown of sperm production at all (Naftolin, et al., 1973)(Winters, et al., 1979)."
However there is another piece research in my work that showed how 25mg of testosterone administered per week without a serm caused no loss in hpta function at all.
So the question is: are serms even needed during the taper or after?
I personally do not think so. However I leave that to the individual to explore. I personally worry about ER upregulation with using anti E's that could cause rebound suppression and even gynocomastia following cessation of the anti E therapy... along with the goal of reaching natural homeostasis, is why I tend to shy away from their use.
Besides, It is good to get away from pill popping for a while.
Clean the body out of everything.
For someone like me who ends up going back on following the taper period this approach of not using any SERMS is probably better.
Just my thoughts Hope I cleared the air on this, as I have seen this debated in another thread, and didn't want to bury a responce where it would not get read.
Some will have significant testicular shrinkage. You expect the testes to respond to LH during PCT, but they are often not in a physical state where they can respond to LH when that starts back up. A SERM can get the physical recovery of the testes underway to that they can be better able to produce T when LH comes naturally. Alternatively, one can start things with proper doses of HCG or use HCG all through a cycle so the testes never get turned off or shrunken.
HCG must never be used in huge doses. That can cause permanent harm. Use TRT dosing such as 250iu EOD. If using HCG as part of PCT, you can front load to some degree, but injecting 2000iu at once or such is really wrong.
"I firmly believe there isn't a need for any serm use at all during the taper, since the entire focus of the taper is returning the body to NATURAL homeostasis." -you cannot have anything normal with shrunken testes. Recovery of the size and LH responsiveness of the testes takes time.
Anti-E is a term that encompasses AIs and SERMs. This causes confusion.
AIs: Arimidex/anastrozole will never maintain the HPTA during an aromatizing cycle. Arimidex simply cannot do that. T is also an negative feedback signal to the HPTA, as are the other estrogens, HDT and progesterone. Femara can take E2 very low. Arimidex is preferred as it will not typically take E below 17pg/ml. (But there are some rare individuals who need around 1/8th to 1/0th of an expected dose of arimidex.)
SERMs can keep the HPTA working, LH is produced, often at rates higher than one has when off cycle and recovered. SERMs have side effects, anastrozole does not.
My approach is that the testes should not be shutdown at all, never. Use HCG during the cycle, into SERM during taper to get the hypothalamus and pituitary releasing LH and taper off of SERM after all aromatizing gear is cleared. HCG is tapered off rather quickly after the SERM is started during the taper while T levels are still supportive. SERMs must never be stopped suddenly, aways taper off of a SERM. SERMs increase or maintain above normal E levels. Stopping a SERM suddenly exposes the HPTA and other tissues to those E levels. Using an AI during this time has obvious benefits.
Use an AI all through the cycle, taper and PCT and for some time after that at TRT dose levels [1.0 - 1.5mg/wk].
There are many ways to do all of these things. There are also many who have used gear and done 'the right things' who and up on TRT at a young age because their testes will not work right. One has to consider what one is doing to their testes with any given program.
I am not a lifter, but I can say, you don't know what you've got until you loosse it... a perspective of age and needing TRT.
You don't agree eh? well thanks for hi-jacking my thread.
You just royally pissed me off.
Here I am just trying to relay information to those who have chosen to use the test taper. I wasn't trying to start another debate. God knows I spent enought time going through that with Anthony Roberts and others back in 2005, 2006. Read the threads, most members will agree I won those debates, and the success stories that have followed since are continued proof that the testosterone taper does work.
As I said the purpose of the test taper is to return the body to homeostasis. You would rather add a whole bunch other drugs into the mix instead thinking that the body is is like an old car that needs a little bit of gasoline placed on top of the piston head to get it started. What B.S. And it is this b.s. that I intially got angry about that certain self perclaimed 'guru's' were spreading.
Please refer to my test taper thread regarding why I believe a weekly protocol of hcg is NOT needed.
In fact we have no way of knowing exactly how much hcg is equipotent to LH that the pituitary secretes so I don't understand how you can claim that you can successfully taper off using a foreign chemical structure in your body without causing receptor changes at the leydig cells.
I understand your reasoning though, and I have to say that Intitially I was sold on the method... hell in 2004 I used the weekly hcg protocol as Swale had laid out and then tapered the hcg off and added the nolva just like you have stated, and was able to pretty much acertain that the method did not work . Yes my test production was great - hell even on 100 i.u. of hcg, but as soon as the hcg stopped I crashed. ended up having the test levels of an old man and had to go back on a testosterone hrt untill I was ready for my next cycle. This led me to conclude that the problem was at the leydig receptors - my LH was not having a sufficient effect on my leydig receptors to stimulate testosterone production.
So, back to the drawing board, and hence with a little help from Cy Wilson, the prisoner#22 test taper.
Now just to clear things up: I stated anti E because I mean both. I personally believe that it is best to remove all foreign drugs from your body.
You seem to think that the body is incapable of recognizing when it is testosterone deficient, and needs a SERM to get it going. This is completely wrong. all negative feedback loops work by means of recognising a deficiency at the Receptor that controls the mechanism to secrete more hormone. This is the exact way a SERM works - it blocks estrogen from binding to the receptor so that the receptor thinks there is no estrogen. So why is it that you can't get it around your head when the body is actually estrogen deficient because testosterone levels have dropped sufficiently low enough that the Hypothalmus would not recognize this and begin secreting FSH????
Do individuals who are completely Natural (meaning never taken steroids) have to have their test levels drop to Zero before their hpta will kick in and produce more testosteorne???
That of course was a rhetorical question.
But a great way of explaining how you can actually be tapering testosterone exogenously and have your own hpta kick in to start producing it's own share of the load.
Now since the taper is a gradual process, can you not see how you can gradually recover full function of your testes? or another way of putting it: gradually recovery full production of the testosterone in your body?
As I said before, since AAS is suppressing to one part of the hpta, why would you want to mess with another part of the hpta by adding hcg?
It's like yeah, lets fuck with the fuel lines of the car, but also lets fuck up the ignition system as well!
Not too logical.
and then think that a Serm will fix all that.
And by the way your little sermon you preached on SERMS above was very confusing and quite contradictory.
do you realise that anastrozole and arimidex are the same drug??
And the importance of tapering off a SERM!!!!
I guess you don't realise that a serm dosn't effect receptors at all - it merely competes with estrogen at the receptor. Itself exerts a weak estrogenic effect.
It is the AI's that really need tapering, as they can up regulate the ER and cause all sorts of complications following cessation.
Anyways I am done. The test taper is rock solid. It has withstood all debate. You don't want to try it that's fine, but realise that nobody has yet to bring damming theory or research and all that have used the test taper approach have been satisfied with it, and reiterated all that I had said would happen.
Now I am tired of regurgitating old arguments and old battles that I clearly won. So stay out of my way. I am just trying to help people, not baffle them with a whole lot of confusing hodge podge quotes, big words and collections of illogic. If this is your way of making people think that you are smart and some how knowledgable about AAS, bodybuilding and training, you are definitely not helping your cause.
You want to start your own thread go right a head.
But don't clutter mine up with the circus that is the inside of your head!
"In fact we have no way of knowing exactly how much hcg is equipotent to LH that the pituitary secretes so I don't understand how you can claim that you can successfully taper off using a foreign chemical structure in your body without causing receptor changes at the leydig cells."
In may 2005 research was published that showed that 250iu HCG SQ EOD maintained baseline intratesticular testosterone in young normal males who were HPTA shutdown with 200mg test ester per week. The inserted very fine needles into the testes to sample the testosterone inside the testes... it was not a long term study. The T levels in the testes are around 100 times greater then serum. The T levels there are a good measure of whats going on.
The lobe [alpha sub unit] of the HCG that docks in the LH receptor is "essentially identical" to the alpha sub unit of LH. So that dose of HCG is close to what your body does, same functional shape and same baseline ITT result. So no issue there. The problem is when too much HCG is used as you can commonly find in [old] posts... bad practice. So now we have excellent research data on which to base dosing.
The point is to maintain the testes so they are not shrunk going into taper/PCT. Otherwise your body starts to produce LH and the testes are ready to work because they have shrunk and/or gone to sleep. No need for that and risks of permanent problems which a few seem to have in the short run and the need for TRT in the long run while still young.
I am not in any way arguing that test tapers are not a good thing. Seems very logical to me. I was trying to suggest that there are some other aspects that can be considered that might make the whole thing work better/safer.
So for the record, I think that test taper should be done and I am glad that you and others are carrying the torch of change for the better.
"Now since the taper is a gradual process, can you not see how you can gradually recover full function of your testes? or another way of putting it: gradually recovery full production of the testosterone in your body?"
How gradual is that then? There is one part of the taper where you are reducing T but still are shut down, as in 80-100mg/wk. That phase will easy the effect of stopping T suddenly and perhaps helps avoid a sense of let down. Then there is the phase where the combined negative feedback effects of the estrogens, T, DHT and progesterone start to fall low enough that the HPTA wakes up [after some delay?] and starts to produce LT. I don't have any idea how long that takes and I guess I have missed the details of the duration of tapering. In that practical regard... I have no idea.
"do you realise that anastrozole and arimidex are the same drug??" -absolutely
I agree with everything that you say about SERMs. But you still need to taper off of it. SERMs block the action of E, but also increase serum E levels. (I think that AIs are needed then too.)
I think that AIs are more important that many realize. Having LH and T start in a taper with elevated SHBG is going to kill FT. Having E under control well before the taper should allow for reasonable SHBG levels. But if AIs are used all along, SHBG will probably not be a problem to worry about during the taper.
"It is the AI's that really need tapering, as they can up regulate the ER and cause all sorts of complications following cessation."
-so you are stating that the E receptors become more sensitive after an AI induced state of low estrogen. Interesting - good concept.
I am sorry when I said "I disagree". I was not referring to the value of tapering at all, but I now see how it came across wrong. I am objecting to the premise that the "best practice" might be letting LH start up and try to fire up testes that have have been shut down. While the testes are getting ready to get going again, T levels might be uncomfortably low and some gains and libido might be at risk. The length of time that the testes take to recover the ability to make T will be quite individualistic and probably varies with age as well.
My motives in sticking my thoughts into this are a result of guys who have asked for help with cycles gone bad and long term hormone level damage. I try to understand what goes wrong that can bring such long term damage.
The thing I was wondering is won't 50mg of test a week basically make your blood levels look like normal? I still haven't tried the taper and I probably will try it, but I just have to say that I once tried to recover without a SERM or taper and my nuts were shrunken the whole time.
I finally gave up and decided to eat some nolvadex and within two days the nuts plumped up. The shit does work, so when I taper off my next cycle I will probably use a SERM too.
What do you contribute to this board? Other than telling me where to go and critisizing me? lol!
As I said in earlier statements in medical settings all receptor mediated drugs have to be tapered. Nothing is discontinued cold turkey without the realisation that there will be negative effects. This is an undeniable rule of medicine/ pharmacology. So it has always been the gospel.
Ignorance of this on your part, and the part of many others, is laughable, as it as if you have different rules of physiology that only apply in bodybuilding that somehow I know nothing about, because I didn't write a book - incidently one of them I am sure you sell on your stupid site. (I have never had the curiosity or the lack of time to do anything else to waste my life checking out your site btw)
So continue to bash me all you like, your just make yourself out to be more the fool.
O.k. It looks like we have simmilar thinking on a lot of things. Keep in mind the test taper spans 3 months.
Thats six weeks to normalise the body - return SHGB to normal, and normalise receptors. Only at this point is the body's negative feedback loop then ready to being to work properly, as there will be no outside interferance. The taper then I give six weeks. For older individuals maybe it will take longer. As some one else said, your balls will 'plump up' - you know your hpta is working when that happens, and this happens about midway during the taper, and continues through past the end.
I still don't agree with the hcg use, as you can't prove that the effect the hcg has on the receptor is directly related to the amount of testosteron that is produces. Example nolvadex is a weak estrogen, yes, it binds to the ER and will actually cause some mild estrogenic effects. Not every steroid for example that binds to the AR will cause as strong affects as others either, So I still from my own experience am unwilling to give hcg the thumbs up during pct.
If however you want to use during your cycle, and are trying to get your wife pregnant, go nuts! but you need to stop it with enough time for receptors to normalize before the end of the cycle, as you want your receptors to be as receptive to your own LH as possible.
As for shrinkage. As I stated in the tapering thread It is more a metabolic cause - a gland that is not being worked hard will not have a high need for blood supply, the tissues are still intact, but the sperm just isn't being matured and testosterone isn't being produced.
Bottom line is, if you can sustain yourself at regular testosterone levels using HCG, then you should be able to do so using your own HPTA. If you can't it is a pituitary problem, not a testicular one.
A serm in my experience is not needed, however the research bears out it's use as being helpfull at maintaining htpa function while using low levels of testosterone.
My approach is that when I am coming off that the less pills I am popping the better. If the taper works still without the serm then I'll not waste my money on the serm.
Returning the body of course to natural homeostasis, is the key, so eventually you will have to eliminate the serm anyways.
BTW most people notice testicular hypertrophy at around the point where they are using 50mg of test in the taper anyways. keep in mind that some of the weight of the testosterone is made up by the ester so it is actually less then 50mg of actual testosterone.
I'm finishing out a test taper right now (only two more 5mg prop shots remaining) and it has worked like a charm. The transition has been seamless and when I compare it to a nolva-only PCT that followed four weeks of MAG-10 (I was def suppressed), well, there is no comparison. So it's safe to say I will always use the test taper.
Now by the end of this cycle, I had learned enough about HCG to want to include it as prelude to my taper. (ie. a pre-PCT to my test taper PCT) And the HCG also worked like a charm. My testes returned to their normal size in 1-2 days and I got another late-cycle libido blast. And since my timing was correct, (I added three weeks of HCG alongside prop at 200mg/wk, 100mg/wk, 100mg/wk) my balls have remained nice and full. And they must have been ready to roll, since my transition has been so smooth. So it's safe to say I will always utilize HCG (though I won't always procrastinate with it)
So what's my point? Never stop learning and always keep an open mind.
since when are steroids not a drug? since when is it not included in pharmacology? and since when did they take it out of my drug guide and medical textbooks. No sorry dude it's there, and like every other receptor mediated drug that utilizes negative feedback, it works the same ways.
I would tend to believe I have enough education and intelect to know this, and keep in mind my ideas were orrigionally gotten from Cy Wilson. I Happen to know that guy is one smart and knowledgeable dude.
So you can try and call me a tren freak or whatever else, but we all know that rediculing me to get your point across is also a fallacy.
For this to be true - I would have to be arguing a point. I'm not. I made some statements about your inferiority complex. The argument has never been about your fucking test taper.
I'll spell it really slowly so you can understand: I don't care about your test taper, therefore - no fallacy.
I would have to know you personally - and then give a shit about you personally in order to have something against you personally.
He shouldn't have to apologize to you. You should apoligize to him because he said nothing that a rational adult should be pissed at. Which goes to the heart of what I have been saying.
You want to be treated like a God while acting like a dick.
My contributions to this place will never compare to yours, obviously, but since we are talking about fallacies - What the fuck does my contributions have to do with you acting like a fucking douchebag?