By Tom Booker – aka MT Pro-Member firest0rm
Since the initial prohormone ban a couple of years ago, many companies have begun creating designer steroids (now commonly referred to as off-the-shelf (OTS) / legal steroids) and because these steroids have been modified, they bypass the ban through legal loopholes.
The most popular designer steroids are Superdrol, Pheraplex, Halodrol and Epistane. These compounds have become incredibly popular not only to the general public, but also to the more hardcore, injectable steroid users who have began using them as ‘kickers’. These OTS steroids can be legally purchased from websites or shops.
Because of this the average user of OTS steroids will find the acquisition of a selective oestrogen receptor modulator (SERM) quite difficult. SERMs are prescription only medications (POMs) and cannot be easily purchased. If you were using traditional anabolic steroids, injectable or oral, this would not be a problem because a source would also stock them, but for somebody buying steroids from a website a SERM can be quite tricky to get hold of. This issue surrounding post cycle therapy (PCT) for designer steroids has created a void, a void that has now been filled with OTS PCT products which can be legally bought from the same websites the designer steroids are obtained. PCT is crucial to help maintain gains and get the user’s natural hormone levels back to normal after a cycle. Whilst there are a large number of different ingredients available, I shall highlight the four main compounds which are the most popular and also in most people experiences the best:
ATD (3, 17-dioxo-etiochol-1,4,6-triene)
ATD is an aromatize inhibitor (AI) and works by blocking androgens in the hypothalamus which results in oestrogen levels being lowered while testosterone levels rise. Typically a PCT would begin with treble or quadruple the standard dose with a gradual taper off towards the end of the three week PCT. The taper is necessary as there is a possibility of oestrogen rebound which can cause gynecomastia. Users report a fast rise in libido, usually within the first week and this can slow down towards the end of the PCT.
Products include: Rebound XT, Inhibit-E, Arom-X, Novedex XT, Reversitol.
6-bromo became popular after Rebound XT, and originally came out in a product called Rebound Reloaded, heralded as a successor to Rebound XT. It now forms the basis of a large number of testosterone boosting supplements on the market and offers a gradual raise in testosterone. It is popular as a PCT product however its effects on testosterone are not as immediate as ATD and many choose ATD over 6-bromo.
Products: Advanced PCT, HyperdrolX2, Cissus-Drol, Reversitol.
Trans-Res is actually found in grape skins and also in wine and has many health benefits. It is often used in anti-aging products and can help protect against cardiovascular disease and is even used as an anti-HIV drug. Trans-Res is relatively new as an OTS PCT product and as such there is not a great deal of credible anecdotal evidence confirming its use. However, because of the sheer amount of scientific evidence on the compound and its use in a wide range of medicines it is a product that is worth considering.
Products: iForce Reversitol, Anabolic Innovations Post Cycle Support & Stoked!, CEL P.C.T Assist.
6-OXO (4-Etioallocholen-3,6, 17-Trione)
6-OXO is an AI and blocks the conversion of testosterone to oestrogen. 6-OXO is one of the first OTS PCT products to be made available and is still very popular today. There is now an ‘extreme’ version which also includes Trans-Res. In terms of effects it is practically the same as ATD and should be treated in a similar manner.
Products: 6-OXO, 6-OXOExtreme.
Other PCT ingredients worth noting
Icariin, Quercetin, Piperine, Indole 3 Carbinol, Forskolin.
Can OTS PCT products be a replacement for a SERM PCT?
There is a debate amongst most internet communities regarding OTS PCT and whether or not it is sufficient for a steroid cycle PCT. The argument for OTS use mainly boils down to the relative ease of buying it, whereas the argument for SERM use over OTS use is the fact that SERM’s have a lot more medical data on them and have been used as PCT products for a lot longer. Regardless of this debate OTS PCT products have been used quite a lot and are becoming ever more popular. There are several logs and journals available on MuscleTalk where the user has completed a short oral steroid cycle and used an OTS product as PCT. It is difficult to tell whether there are any negative effects still present under the surface; however it seems the users reportedly recovered fine. In fact, a quick search on Google will show that a very large number of people worldwide use OTS PCT products for their PCT protocols and live to tell the tale.
How should I run one of these products?
ATD based PCT products are the most popular and they are typically run for three weeks. This is down to two reasons; firstly it keeps in line with the standard PCT length of three weeks, but as well as that as ATD is treble and quadruple dosed in the beginning there is not enough to run for a full four weeks. Typically you would begin with 5-7 caps for the first 5 days, then drop the dose by 1-2 caps for another 5 days and continue this protocol ensuring you run the last 5 days on just 1 cap to help avoid any oestrogen rebound.
The other products that contain 6-bromo, Trans-Res, etc can simply be ran as a month’s course as recommended on the bottle, or alternatively you can up the dose slightly for the first week and run the product for just three weeks although this is not strictly necessary. There is no right and wrong way of running these products, oestrogen rebound is reportedly not a problem as opposed to ATD based products.