HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone that is naturally produced in the body during pregnancy. It is often used by bodybuilders and other athletes who have completed a steroid cycle, as a way to kickstart their natural testosterone production before starting PCT.
During a steroid cycle, the use of AAS suppresses the body’s own production of testosterone. This can lead to a number of negative side effects.
Post-cycle therapy with SERMs like Nolvadex or Clomid is typically used to help the body recover from these effects and restore natural testosterone production. However, starting PCT immediately after a steroid cycle can be ineffective, as the body may still be in a suppressed state. This is where HCG comes in.
HCG can stimulate the testes to produce testosterone, helping to jumpstart the natural production process before PCT begins.
Here’s why HCG is so popular in the bodybuilding community. It’s useful on multiple levels at once:
Preserves Testicular Function
HCG mimics the effects of luteinizing hormone (LH), which is responsible for stimulating the testes to produce testosterone. Using HCG during the last part of a steroid cycle can prevent testicular atrophy.
Boosts Testosterone Production
HCG helps to stimulate the Leydig cells in the testes to produce more testosterone. This can lead to higher testosterone levels, which can help promote muscle growth and recovery.
Reduces Recovery Time
By increasing testosterone production and preserving testicular function, HCG can help to reduce the recovery time needed after a steroid cycle. Naturally, or with just Nolvadex, it would take long months, but HCG boosts it to approximately 4 weeks (unless really high doses of really suppressive AAS like Nandrolone or Trenbolone were used).
Testosterone is a key hormone for sexual function, and HCG can help to boost testosterone levels. This can lead to increased libido and improved sex life.
Helps with Weight Loss
That’s in no way the primary benefit, but is still a worthy addition to the list. HCG has been proven to help with weight loss by suppressing appetite. It can be especially beneficial for bodybuilders who are trying to get lean and shredded for a competition.
If you've been cycling powerful AAS for longer than 6 weeks or were stacking multiple compounds, HCG is the compound you need to get back on track. You'll want to do two injections per week at 250-500 IU each for the last 3 weeks of your cycle to keep your testicular function at check.
In case you missed the HCG part and you’re already at the PCT phase with SERMs — no worries. Just inject 2000 IU every other day for 20 days and you'll be on your way to restoring those optimal LH levels. Some guys will even do 3000 IU per week for just 2 weeks, so find what works for you.
Be aware that HCG can cause gynecomastia if you're not careful, so it's a good idea to add an aromatase inhibitor. Letrozole, Aromasin, and Anastrozole are the most popular options to keep yourself safe from un
Improper use of HCG can be dangerous and counterproductive to the recovery of the HPTA (Hypothalamic Pituitary Testicular Axis) and even result in permanent damage to the Leydig cells of the testes if used too frequently, for too long, or at high doses (which can lead to desensitization of the Leydig cells to LH and FSH).
When it comes to administering HCG, the majority of athletes opt for intramuscular injections. However, subcutaneous injections have lately become just as popular. Studies have shown that there is almost no difference in results between the two methods.