TO BLAST AND CRUISE OR TO PCT?

In years of old, the Blast and Cruise method [B&C] was not something you’d often, if ever heard about in the gym, even if you were in the purple circle. “Time on = Time off” was the common belief. If you ran a cycle that lasted 10 weeks, you would spend 10 weeks off also and the only divide among the bro community was whether or not your Post Cycle Therapy [PCT] was inclusive within that 10 weeks off or not. Though, it is clear now that physiques such as the likes of Phil Heath and Big Ramy are far more freakier than previous legends of years prior. Arnold Schwarzenegger would not even qualify for the Olympia in 2018. Too small, too flat and too fat. Next please! Wow, how the perception of the world changes from one generation’s culture to the next. So, what has changed between then and now? The training? The nutrition? Sure, these two areas have changed a great deal since the emergence of the internet. More information sharing and therefore more people applying and experimenting. There’s just one problem with the debate that training and nutrition would have had any impact on the “new look” we are seeing in body-building. Well, these new training and nutrition protocols are available to everyone in the entire world. So, why isn’t everyone getting more jacked? Well, we are to a degree; but not to a degree that is hardly impactful in this extreme context. Which leads us to the drugs. Good old fashion drugs! Different drugs? More drugs? Well, yes. But there is one stand alone explanation for physiques maturing faster, harder and more freakier than ever before and that is because users now are not coming off the drugs at all! The Blast and Cruise method has been around for a while, it is nothing new, but it is only until recent years that this method has become common practice among AAS [Anabolic and Androgenic Steroid] users in the general to intermediate scene. “You PCT or B&C brah?” That is now a common question. Let’s take a closer look at the Blast and Cruise method which has become the preference among the most competitive athletes.

The Blast and Cruise method could be defined as a method of ‘Blasting’ X mg of steroids weekly for a time period, then ‘Cruising’ with less than X mg of steroids weekly for a similar time period, but never actually coming off AAS. That’s right, no PCT, or at least not one planned anytime soon. A hypothetical to explain this best:

Bob Blasts at 1000 mg of Testosterone and 800 mg of Equipoise weekly for 12 weeks, then he cruises at 500 mg of Testosterone only for a further 12 weeks. He then repeats this structure over and over, slowly adding in more drugs on his blast, but rarely on his cruise. Sometimes he cruises on a therapeutic dose of 125 mg Testosterone weekly, but he never comes off Testosterone.

A Blast is usually proportionate to the cruise. Though, one man’s cruise can be another man’s blast. Some men choose to cruise on TRT (100-200 mg weekly) doses while other’s cruise on high doses of testosterone year round, then add in extra compounds when they consider themselves blasting. There is no definitive scale for what mg are used in either stage of the B&C method from user to user, but there is a consensus among B&C believers as to why they choose this method over the PCT method. These beliefs are:

1.) Faster progress is made as too many gains are lost during a PCT.
2.) The Cruise Stage allows time for “receptors to re-sensitise” so that more progress can be made. I inverted that phrase for a reason and I will debunk in just a moment.

3.) The PCT blues are just too much to bare for some. Physical and Psychological deterioration is largely avoided with the B&C method. Sometimes on PCT your girlfriend tends to look about as sexy as your couch and also, you’re not quite sure, but jumping off a bridge is sounding more and more interesting than going to the gym this afternoon.
4.) The Cruise Stage allows for any health issues to return to baseline that may have been compromised during the Blast Stage. With this transition of back and forth between Blast and Cruise, the user hopes to never incur any permanent damage to vital organs or at least heavily minimise that damage.

In my clinical experience, I would have to agree wholeheartedly with the B&C believers for the most part. Most certainly is faster progress made and most certainly does the B&C method mitigate the dreaded PCT blues many people face. However, they’re not quite right about the “re-sensitising of receptors” part. Androgen Receptors up-regulate. I won’t get too ‘sciency,’ but what this means is that unlike amphetamines, steroids do not build a tolerance for you to need more and more of the drug to receive the same effect. Sure, gains towards the end of a cycle slow down, but that is a story for another time. Yes, you need more and more steroids over time to build a bigger and bigger physique, but because androgen receptors up-regulate, we are not simply going to turn into the hulk by using 500 mg of Testosterone weekly, taking a break, then using 500 mg again repeatedly, over and over until we are Mr Olympia. It just does not work this way unfortunately. All you have to do is have a friend within the competitive scene let you in on what is actually going on in the sport. More and more drugs! That’s right. More, good old fashion drugs. Cruises between blasts are getting shorter and doses to “cruise” are getting higher. It is often just one big blast at the highest level. Oh, and a PCT of 4-6 weeks while you have thousands of mg of steroids in your system that could take months to clear, does not count as PCT! Just Say’n. So if the B&C is the way to go, then why do people PCT? Well, there is always the flipside to every coin and there are some obvious downsides to a life of blast of cruise if the shoe fits. And they are:

1.) A very high risk of permanent Anabolic Steroid Induced Hypogonadism [ASIH]. Make no mistake, it is very possible to permanently shut down your natural testosterone with enough steroid use. Once again, this is an individual specific chance. I have known for users to stay on high dose AAS for over a decade and recover well shortly after stopping AAS and also conceive children. Then I have seen those who have never quite bounced back after staying on for as little as 2 years. Failed PCT after failed PCT, it seems there are some that after B&C will need to be on testosterone replacement therapy for the rest of their life. Worse things could happen but.

2.) A very high risk of what I like to call ‘Partial Recovery.’ Partial recovery is less discussed within the community. Partial recovery is when a user recovers after a cycle, but only partially. 70-80%, but not quite there. When someone’s testosterone returns sub-optimal or much less than their original baseline, this is known as partial recovery. Some regain HPTA function to 100% while others stay kind of recovered, kind of not, forever.

3.) This next one really depends on the cruise dose, but there is a higher risk of experiencing long term damage to vital organs with the B&C method. The longer you stay on doses above the physiological range [normal range], the higher your chance of cardiovascular events and the higher the chance you may suffer other health complications related to chronic [long term] AAS use. Of course, if your cruise dose is a TRT dose of say 125 mg testosterone weekly, one could make the argument that this is actually healthier than the PCT method, as you are not ingesting added medications or experiencing swings of low testosterone and other unfavourable hormone fluctuations like we see in PCT. Clearly, these fluctuations are linked to the cognitive, emotional and physical decline that is apparent in many users during the PCT period. One would hardly call that healthy.

4.) With the B&C method, your risk for infertility is higher, clearly. However, with the addition of HCG and/or HMG, it is unlikely most males will have an issue having children on AAS if they undergo the right program when the time comes. Of course, that also means more medications and more money. Although, budget is hardly a considering factor when one decides to B&C. The goal is the goal for these athletes and they will take the good with the bad. Which leads me to the conclusion of this discussion between PCT and B&C. Here is my closing advice for anyone weighing up between a life of B&C or PCT.

Assess your goals deeply and honestly. If you have woke up every morning and all you can think about is your chosen sport, a sport you know requires these drugs to take it to where you know you need to go, then maybe the Blast and Cruise method is for you. If the message you are receiving to follow this goal is clear, then now weigh up your goals with the pros and cons of the B&C method. If the benefits outweigh the costs for you, do it. If the costs do not outweigh the benefits for you, do not do it. I hope that the above guide I have laid out helps you assess these pros and cons and you can make the decision that is truly right for you. No one else. Just you. After reading this, I know some will never run a PCT again and will be upping the dose, yet others will be considering coming off all steroids very soon. For some, the Blast and Cruise method is their calling and for others it is a down right stupid waste of time, money and health!

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