Are The Gains From A Steroid Cycle Maintainable?
This is a common question I get, and I am going to tell you exactly what will determine how much of your cycle gains you can keep from Steroids.
So, Can You Keep All Your Gains?
Yes, you can.
But, this comes with a few conditions.
1) Are You Past Your Genetic Potential?
Your body has a certain genetic limit, and this limit represents how much potential your physique has progression wise as a natural.
If you train naturally for years and years, with perfect diet and training, you can eventually get very close to this limit, but you will NEVER pass that limit without some supraphysiological anabolic assistance.
While the ideal scenario would be to train naturally until you reach your genetic limit, and then to use performance enhancing drugs (PED’s) once you reach this limit should you decide you want to break the barriers of what is physically possible for you as a natural athlete, I’d estimate that less than 1% of PED users actually do this.
Usually, this is the result of impatience, as truly reaching your genetic limit can take many years.
Regardless if you choose to use them only once you’ve peaked naturally, or you choose to use them earlier, the fact remains that your predetermined genetic potential will serve as a benchmark where no matter what you do, even if you surpass that limit with PED use, eventually, after discontinuing their use, you will slowly return to your genetic potential benchmark (at most).
So, hypothetically let’s say you haven’t reached your genetic potential and you aren’t even close to reaching it and you do a cycle of Steroids.
Let’s say you gain 10 pounds of muscle off this cycle, and your genetic limit is another 10 pounds more lean muscle above and beyond what you achieved with this cycle.
You should have no problems retaining ALL of the gains from that cycle if you PCT properly and continue to diet and train hard.
Now, let’s take another hypothetical scenario, let’s just say you are literally peaked as a natural and can’t progress anymore without PED’s and you do a Steroid cycle and gain 10 pounds of muscle.
Now you are 10 pounds over your genetic limit.
If you PCT perfectly and recover your natural endocrine function and continue to diet and train perfectly, you will likely retain most of your gains, however, this will be temporary.
Eventually, your body’s natural supply of hormones simply won’t be satisfactory enough to sustain a level of lean muscle above and beyond of what your genetics are capable of, and over the course of several months (this time frame will differ for each individual), you will slowly lose all 10 of those pounds.
Now, some of you may be thinking at this point, then what’s the point of doing a cycle at all.
Well, the first thing you need to realize about bodybuilding and PED use is that EVERYTHING is temporary.
Look at the pro bodybuilders that are retired.
Is Arnold the same size as he was in the 1970’s?
Of course not.
This is largely due to his age, but also it has to do with the fact that he doesn’t take supraphysiological amounts of drugs like he used to or train and diet the same way he did before.
Look at Ronnie Coleman who is a better example, he was once the greatest bodybuilder on the planet, but now he is hardly recognizable compared to what he once looked like.
Yet, you have a guy like Dexter Jackson who is almost 50 years old himself (only 5 years younger than Ronnie Coleman), and he still looks as good as he did in his 20's and 30's.
As a matter of fact, his physique is arguably even better now at 47 than it was in his 30's which is usually the prime for most bodybuilders, and he still wins top tier shows against guys over 10 years younger than him.
This is because Dexter Jackson has stayed consistent for all of those years and has ALWAYS been consistent with his supraphysiological PED use.
And the deterioration of other bodybuilder's physiques like Ronnie occurred because no matter how much muscle you build, once you get off the PED’s, your body is relying on only the amount of hormones that it has to work with, and that amount of hormones simply isn’t enough to sustain a level of muscle mass above and beyond one’s genetic potential.
So, if you want to maintain a supraphyisological-sized physique, you are going to need to provide your body a steady (or intermittent via cycling) supply of exogenous hormones that allow it to maintain a greater amount of muscle than it is naturally capable of.
So, short answer, yes the gains from Steroids are 100% maintainable, it just depends if you are below or above your genetic potential or not, as well as if you are willing to continue doing more cycles (or just never come off) to maintain/build on that supraphysiological physique if you have surpassed your genetic limit.
2) Are You Still Training Just As Hard And Dieting Properly After Your Cycle?
If you train hard and eat properly on cycle and get fantastic gains, it doesn’t mean that you can let off the gas simply because you are now “off cycle.”
One of the main factors that will dictate how much muscle you retain from your Steroid cycle will be if you continue to train hard and eat well even once you come off cycle.
For some reason, many individuals think that because they have no anabolic assistance that they might as well throw their diet out the window and start taking it easy with their training.
This couldn’t be further from the truth, and doing this will just cause the hard earned muscle you just built to melt off your body.
You need to continue to train as hard and eat as well as you were on cycle, even when you are off cycle if you want to retain all of your gains from that cycle.
You are already going to be fighting an uphill battle with a suppressed endocrine system that is recovering, so your training and diet needs to be 100% on point.
3) Did You PCT Properly?
It is shocking how many individuals will embark on a cycle without having their PCT on hand ahead of time, or not even knowing what PCT is in the first place.
If you don’t take your post-cycle therapy compounds after you get off whatever PED’s you’re using (if they are suppressive), your body will be in a suppressed state for a far longer span of time, and this is EXTREMELY catabolic.
The longer your body remains in a state of suppression without any anabolic assistance, the greater your odds are for experiencing muscle loss.
It isn’t uncommon for some individuals to lose everything they gained from a cycle simply because they didn’t PCT at all.
The most critical hormone in your body that will retain your muscle mass after you come off a cycle is your endogenous testosterone production.
When you come off a cycle, those levels are suppressed, and the point of a proper PCT is to expedite the recovery process of that endogenous testosterone production as quickly as possible.
Leaving your body to recover on its’ own with no PCT at all will almost undoubtedly result in a big loss in muscle mass that could’ve easily been retained had you done a proper PCT regimen.
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is intended for entertainment and informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.