Bridging with SARMs
What is a Bridge?
A “bridge” can simply be defined as anything that provides a connection between two points. In the world of bodybuilding, there are countless points, but the two most important are:
- The end of a SARMs cycle;
- The start of a new cycle.
Therefore, a bodybuilding bridge can be classified as the total sum of all actions from the day a SARM cycle ends to the start of a new one.
It is worth noting here that the majority of SARMs users don’t stay “on cycle” year round. This is the biggest reason why they might run a post-cycle therapy (PCT). Of course, the primary purpose of PCT is to restore the body’s ability to naturally produce hormones such as testosterone. Therefore, it does make sense that one cause of concern for users of performance enhancing drugs (PED) is to retain the gains made on cycle for as long as possible.
Most PED users have a question in mind towards the end of a cycle: “When can I start my new one?”
Well, the general rule of thumb is that the minimum time off should equal the time on cycle plus the duration of post-cycle therapy.
For instance, a 14-week cycle with 6 weeks of PCT would yield a cycle of 20 weeks. These 20 weeks would be the bridge period where users would want to maintain the gains made on the cycle after successfully completing their post-cycle therapy.
This is where the term “bridging” comes into the picture. For athletes and bodybuilders using SARMs, a perfect bridge is one that allows users to maintain most of their gains, while also restoring their natural hormonal balance. A difficult - yet crucial - aspect of coming off a cycle is noticing gains fading by the day. This is understandably frustrating, but is one of the main reasons users might stay on cycle for extended periods of time. Nobody should use SARMS between cycles: this is an unhealthy practice.
Firstly, the body becomes immune to the action mechanism of performance enhancing drugs - defeating the exact reason why someone might unsafely stay on SARMs between steroid cycles in the first place. Users may then resort to increasing their dosages which should never be done - it can lead to overdosing or abuse of potent compounds. The long-term effects of these substances are still widely and professionally unknown, and in this way users may put themselves at increased risk of side effects and harmful consequences.
But what if there was a way to keep hard-earned gains (outside of unsafely using SARMs between cycles), and still recover at a normal pace? A proper bridge has the ability to improve the odds of keeping gains for longer. However, users are required to stay fully informed and aware as far as all the factors and variables are concerned.
The first step would be to educate ourselves on what actually happens during post-cycle therapy and the duration of a bridge:
Meaning and Significance of Post-Cycle Therapy
Post-cycle therapy is a preventative safety tool for PED users, to assist in the body’s recovery when coming off a cycle. It includes, but is not limited to, post-cycle therapy supplements, as well as on-cycle support and techniques to assist with the overall physical and mental process of recovery.
Post-cycle therapy may seem like a step back in progress when you could continue using SARMs between steroid cycles, but this is never the case: even if you think you’ll be fine, your safety is always paramount.
If you are using SARMs as approved in your country or by your medical professional, it is important to note that post-cycle therapy is of paramount importance and should be completed fully, as it helps users stay well during and after a cycle.
Why Do I Need PCT?
Some performance enhancing substances send a signal to the body to stop the normal production of hormones such as testosterone. This may mean that users experience side effects such as infertility, loss of energy and libido, erectile dysfunction, or reduced sense of wellbeing. These side effects are associated more with anabolic steroid cycles than SARMs cycles; however, it is still a better choice to allow your body to recover.
Continuing to use SARMs between cycles will only amplify these risks and make it harder for your body to bounce back - it’s not worth it in the long run.
Kinds of Body Changes During PCT
There are many changes that happen in the body during post-cycle therapy. They may be classified into three categories:
Now let us understand these categories to stay informed and aware, and to further understand why you should always “bridge” SARMs between cycles.
During post-cycle therapy, the body may experience any, some, or all of these changes:
- Reduction in pumps and recovery rates;
- Reduction in nitrogen retention;
- Reduction in IGF-1 levels;
- Reduction in total testosterone levels;
- Reduction in count of red blood cells;
- Reduction in stamina and endurance levels;
- Reduction in androgen levels.
The Hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis (HPTA) gets shut down after a cycle, and this results in a decline in the performance and quality of different anabolic activities. This includes a decline in total testosterone levels, and changes in the effects on the levels of hormones such as dopamine, cortisol, and estrogen.
- Cortisol: Cortisol is a hormone that is catabolic in nature, and it triggers the breakdown process of muscles. Unfortunately, cortisol levels increase when users come off-cycle, posing a negative effect on both growth hormone and testosterone levels. While maybe disappointing, it is not an excuse to take unsafe measures!
- High cortisol levels are also associated with an increase in abdominal fat, which may be another off-putting effect for bodybuilders.
- Dopamine: Dopamine is the “happiness hormone”, responsible for the sense of accomplishment and wellbeing. Users tend to experience a decline in dopamine levels that may put them at increased risk of stress, depression, or low self-esteem.
- Estrogen: Estrogen will have different effects depending on your sex, and may be positive or negative for you depending on your fitness goals. In men, it has both positive and negative effects. It is therefore critical to keep estrogen levels under control, just as when on-cycle.
- It is worth noting here that high estrogen levels in men can lead to side effects such as gynecomastia (enlargement of breast tissue in men), enlarged prostate, increased risk of erectile dysfunction, low libido, and loss of muscle mass.
As mentioned before, continued use of SARMs between steroid cycles will only put off these effects rather than avoid them, and chances are your body will be worse off for it. Even if you’re looking to use performance-enhancing supplements within medical approval, adequate post-cycle therapy is a must.
These effects range from inconvenient to potentially dangerous, and so you should always stay well-researched and within the law. Even if you’re taking SARMs as medically and legally approved, and following the correct post-cycle procedures, everyone’s different - it may still be worth considering if the effects are worth it for you.
Some users coming off-cycle experience feelings of:
- Loss of self-confidence;
- Dramatic “swings” in mood.
A small majority of users may find emotional blockages when it comes to lifting the same kind of weights, and undergoing strength training or cardio sessions that were a breeze during the cycle. This is not a physical barrier but a mental one; that said, you should listen to your body.
Luckily, properly-planned and -executed PCT will help to get the HPTA rolling again to aid the process of healing and recovery.
Looking After Yourself
It is extremely important that you follow healthy lifestyle and wellness habits in addition to on-cycle support and PCT. This might include:
- Continuing regular workouts;
- Getting quality sleep;
- Eating a healthy and balanced diet;
- Hydrating yourself throughout the day;
- Engaging in deep breathing, cardio sessions, and meditation,
- Avoiding the use of alcohol and smoking;
- Staying positive and giving yourself credit for your progress;
- Try not to get bogged down by the mirror;
- Explore new things and find new sources of motivation.
These may appear as small or insignificant tips, but we all know the significance of the activities mentioned above.
Maintaining Your Gains
On a cycle, you would have experienced hard muscles, popping veins, and sky-high self-esteem. However, you’d possibly lose some of this with the “juice” going out of the picture.
You shouldn’t feel down, as you can maintain the hard-earned gains made during the cycle with smart decisions and actions. You have to keep things steady! No amount of overcompensating or unsafe use of SARMs between steroid cycles will make magic happen.
Ever seen a professional bodybuilder calling it quits in the off-season? No, right? Well, that is simply because this is what they decide to do and it becomes their lifestyle over a period of time. The fact that they are a regular means that they are well-practised and find it easy to get stage ready at all times. This might not be you yet, but it is exactly what you should aspire to!
Before and during the bridge period, Bodybuilt Labs SARMs Cycle Support 90 and Bodybuilt Labs SARMs PCT 90 can help you naturally boost testosterone levels and reduce recovery times and prolactin levels. They will also benefit body strength, muscle mass, energy, workout capacity, glucose tolerance, metabolism, protein synthesis, and recovery.
You should always seek medical advice before considering SARMs and taking on post-cycle therapy as a result. Rules differ from country to country, so stay well-informed and make sure that you are fully aware of the risks and within the law before going ahead.
Ending your cycle on a high, by following these instructions, will put you in the best mindset to work, train, and eat well. Once these aspects have been taken care of, you’ll be in great stead to improve. Your next cycle will be even better than the last!