If you feel that you have maxed out your muscle gaining or strength building potential, pro-hormones may be a suitable option for you to consider.
Pro-hormones are a legal way to push yourself past your genetic limitations, allowing you to gain an average of 5 to 15 pounds of solid muscle mass within a 4 to 6 week period.
While it is impressive, these gains require far more than just taking a pill every day.
In order to maximize your results while avoiding or minimizing side effects, you need to arm yourself with the proper supplementation in addition to your standard pro-hormone.
Let’s review the reasons why you require extra support as well as the supplements you need to be taking during your pro-hormone cycle.
Why the Need for Extra Supplementation?
The two main reasons you will need to include extra supplementation during your pro-hormone cycle:
- To maintain muscle and strength gains
- To avoid harmful and embarrassing side effects
Keeping Your Gains
It is a well-established fact that once your pro-hormone cycle ends, you are going to lose some portion of your gains.
The amount you lose is determined by how quickly you can do the following:
- Restore optimal liver function
- Restore natural testosterone production to normal levels
As you supplement with a pro-hormone, you suppress the natural production of the body’s testosterone.
This is due to the body’s need for balance, or homeostasis.
Since you are artificially increasing your testosterone production well above normal ranges, your body will attempt to balance the two sex hormone levels.
In response to supplementation, testosterone is shut down and the body’s estrogen production begins to climb to compensate.
Still, you are supplementing with enough testosterone that estrogen will not be an issue until post cycle.
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As soon as you cease to use a pro-hormone, you are left with high estrogen levels and no natural testosterone production.
This is where you will begin to lose that muscle mass.
Testosterone is a growth hormone that is needed to build, and more importantly, maintain muscle mass.
It becomes a race against the clock as you wait for your body to turn its T-production back on.
This would be the reason why extra supplementation is so critical.
You are going to need a supplemental boost to get your testosterone levels back to normal WHILE driving down your estrogen levels.
The faster you can elevate your testosterone levels, the more muscle you’ll be able to keep.
Avoiding Side Effects
For as effective as pro-hormones can be, the muscle and strength come at a price.
Your body is simultaneously hurting as it is gaining.
When you begin a pro-hormone cycle, you do so knowing that there is an excellent chance you will be experiencing one or multiple side effects.
The stronger the pro-hormone is the greater your chance for dealing with a number of side effects.
Strength of the pro-hormone also increases the intensity of the side effects.
Keep in mind that side effects will vary greatly from person to person.
Here is a list of the most common side effects that you may find yourself experiencing when beginning your pro-hormone cycle.
- Strain and/or damage to the liver and/or kidneys
- Comes from filtering the potentially harmful chemicals you are ingesting
- Long term: May lead to irreparable liver and/or kidney damage
Testosterone (Long Term)
- Suppression of testosterone production during pro-hormone cycle
- Long term use of pro-hormones may damage the body’s ability to produce healthy levels of testosterone
- Elevated levels of testosterone increase the amount of dihydrotestosterone, or DHT
- DHT is associated with hair loss
High Blood Pressure
- Elevated estrogen levels lead to increased fluid retention which drives high blood pressure
Since a pro-hormone is a double-edged sword, helping your body while hurting it, you are going to need to give yourself every nutritional advantage during your cycle.
There are a number of supplements you should take while on-cycle.
Some of these will be supplements you already take while others are not as common.
Intra cycle supplements will help to counteract the nasty side effects that are common with a pro-hormone.
Supporting Basic Nutrition
Nutrition is going to be key during a pro-hormone cycle.
You are pushing your body far past its normal ability and in response, your body is going to need high levels of nutrition for repair.
Increasing your caloric intake is a must on a pro-hormone but there will always be nutritional gaps that food may not fill.
To support your nutritional needs, it is recommended to supplement with a high quality, food-based multi-vitamin.
- Recommended Brand: Raw ONE for Men
Krill or fish oil is also an excellent supplement to pick up.
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and krill oil provide numerous benefits including enhancing your cardiovascular health. They will also help regulate cholesterol, which commonly increases during a pro-hormone cycle.
- Recommended Brand: Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplement by Hamilton Healthcare
Providing the Muscles with Fuel
Amino acids are the blocking blocks for muscle.
I think it is safe to assume that if you are putting yourself on a pro-hormone, then your main focus is to pack on as much muscle as possible.
With that said, you are going to need to supplement with whey protein as well as branched chain amino acids.
Not only will amino acids help to build muscle, they will also ensure you maintain muscle mass.
With the training you will be enduring for the next 4 to 6 weeks, your body is going to require a higher level of nutrition.
If you aren’t providing it with a high amount of fuel in the form of carbohydrates and healthy fats, your body is going to get its fuel by breaking down lean tissue.
In other words, your body is going to use muscle to attempt to help you grow muscle.
Avoid protein breakdown by supplementing with worthwhile whey protein and amino acid supplements.
- Recommended Brand: Optimum Nutrition: Gold Standard 100% Whey
- Recommended Brand: CELLUCOR Cor-Performance B-BCAA
ZMA is a supplement that should be taken all year round, regardless of your training endeavors.
ZMA is made up of Zinc, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6. Taken separately, each one is a powerhouse nutrient.
When taken together, they form the ideal muscle building, immune boosting trio.
Zinc and Magnesium are renowned immunity boosters as demonstrated in this study from the Proceedings Of The Nutrition Society and this study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Vitamin B6, along with the rest of its B family, benefits a number of bodily processes including cognitive function.
It even helps with cognitive disorders such as depression as you can see in this study from Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.
Our focus will be on the ability of these three to increase the natural production of testosterone within the body.
Why would you want to bother trying to increase testosterone when using a pro-hormone?
As I mentioned above, your natural production of testosterone is going to be suppressed upon synthetically supplementing with your pro-hormone.
Taking a natural testosterone booster is going to help minimize that damage.
Best of all, once you stop taking the pro-hormone, you’ll be that much ahead of the game.
In this study published in Archives of Andrology, subjects with low testosterone were all given zinc supplements.
Those with the lowest testosterone levels experienced the greatest boost in testosterone. A study published in Biological Trace Element Research showed how effective Magnesium supplementation was at increasing testosterone levels.
Finally, an animal-based study published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry showed Vitamin B6 to be very efficient in enhancing testosterone levels in rats.
- Recommended Brand: Prime Male Testosterone Support
I know I sound like a broken record but I can’t stress enough that if you want to keep your muscle mass while avoiding embarrassing side effects such as man-boobs, you need to wage a battle against the estrogen being produced in your body.
Although you could wait until post-cycle to begin taking anti-estrogenic supplements, I would recommend beginning during your pro-hormone cycle.
Your level of dedication will determine which type of supplement you choose.
There are a variety of estrogen blockers from mild to hardcore.
Let’s review a few of the most common types:
- Diindolylmethane, or DIM, is a compound found within cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Aside from being an anti-oxidant superstar in the field of cancer research, DIM is also a means to eliminate estrogen. DIM encourages estrogen metabolism in the body for men and women. As you can see in this study published in Thyroid, subjects supplementing with DIM showed an enhanced estrogen metabolism.
When shopping for DIM, be sure to avoid any brand that contains soy.
Soy contains a high amount of estrogenic compounds.
- Recommended Brand: Smoky Mountain Naturals: DIM
- An on-cycle support supplement is going to be a combination of ingredients that are shown to help reduce estrogen. This may be through suppression of estrogen production or improving its metabolism.
No two brands will have the same ingredient profile; however, a few ingredients to look for are Hesperidin, Apigenin, and Resveratrol.
Even better if the formula includes DIM.
- Recommended Brand: Blockade On-Cycle Defense by Assault Labs
- Arimistane is a “suicide aromatase inhibitor.” This legal AI has been compared to the prescription-based inhibitor known as Aromasin.
With an impressive track record among users, Arimistane has been shown in studies, such as this one published in the journal for the National Center for Biotechnology Information, to be an efficient yet cost effective option to block estrogen production.
- Recommended Brand: Lecheek Nutrition T-X3
Examples of a dry gainer pro-hormone include Epistane, Halodrol, and Formestane.
One very common side effect of using a dry gainer is “dry joints.” You may experience strain and pain located in your elbows and knees and there is nothing worse than pain in the joints as you attempt a squat or chest press. To combat this discomfort, it’ll be important to supplement with a joint support supplement.
Joint support helps to lubricate the joints, helping to avoid the ache that comes along with dry gainer pro-hormones.
- Recommended Brand: Joint Advance Joint Relief
For Cutting Cycles:
Let’s say this isn’t your first rodeo and you have your sights set on getting shredded for a bodybuilding competition or for self satisfaction.
If this is your cutting cycle, then one product that may help you in getting as ripped as possible would be a thermogenic, or fat-burning, supplement.
A worthwhile thermogenic supplement will contain proven fat-burning ingredients such as the following:
- Cayenne Pepper Fruit Extract (as demonstrated in this study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition)
- Caffeine (as demonstrated in this study in Obesity Research & Clinical Practice)
- Green Coffee Bean (as you can see in this study from Natural Medicine Journal)
Be sure to take 20 to 30 minutes before your workout.
You may even want to sip on a second serving during the workout.
- Recommended Brand: Instant Knockout Fat Burner
You may also want to consider a stack of supplements like the Crazy Mass Cutting Stack.
It’s packed with 4 powerful supplements that are designed to help retain lean muscle mass, as well as burn off stubborn fat from hard to reach areas.
Check out my review of the Crazy Mass Cutting stack here.
Where To Buy These
Many of these supplements are considered so controversial that they’re not available freely in stores like GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, and Walmart.
However, like practically everything else, the vast majority of these are available online. Just run a simple search and you’ll be able to find them.
I can understand if you feel overwhelmed at the number of supplements listed to support your muscle building goals but these are simply recommendations.
Recommendations that have been backed by science as well as by veteran pro-hormone users.
You have to look at it like this: If you’re willing to risk side effects and potential health problems in pursuit of muscle, then why is it a problem to spend extra money on yourself to avoid these possible complications?
Wouldn’t you want to make the investment to protect your body so that you could enjoy the gains you worked so hard for?
If you’re going to do something, you better do it right and these extra supplements can ensure you do just that.
As these supplements were strictly for on-cycle support, check out my article on supplements to take post-cycle to ensure you maintain your muscle and avoid estrogen-based health issues.
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User Questions and Answers
Will the crazymass bulk stack couse side affects such as gynecomastia (man boobs)? -Daniel
No, the ingredients in the stack are natural and shouldn't cause steroid-like side effects.- Rob
2 out of 2 people found this question helpful.
Is it necessary to take a form of cycle support while on a pro hormone cycle? What if I am taking milk thistle while taking the pro hormone? I am a first time user. -Alec
Check out the Intra-Cycle/On-Cycle section of the article above. It's all laid out there for you.- Rob
2 out of 2 people found this question helpful.
I purchased the bulk stack from crazymass, will I need a anti-estrgon supplement to have with it ? -Daniel
There's no need for an anti-estrogen supplement with CrazyMass supplements.- Rob
3 out of 4 people found this question helpful.
So, I took spawn some years ago. It worked wonders. i have also tried savage by underground pharma. I have recently bought Monster Plexx. I plan on taking it twice a day with "blockade on cycle" as well as some high quality whey protein. is there anything else i should be concerned with or that i need to add to the cycle? i need help finding a pct thats all i lack I'm looking for a very good one. as my body is the most important thing here. what would you recommend i take with monster plexx if what I'm ordering is not a good mix. -Matthew
From what I'm hearing, Monster Plexx may not be your safest choice, but Blockade on Cycle will work for your PCT.- Rob