If you're a bodybuilder or athlete who has decided to take legal steroids as part of your training regimen, you are likely aware that you have to be careful with dosing, and that working with a doctor to determine the best amounts for you is advisable. However, no matter which steroid you take -- even non-athletic corticosteroids for allergies, for example -- you should work in off-cycles that give your body a break. Here are three reasons why those off-cycles are just as important to your training as on-cycles.
Your liver processes medications and helps move toxic compounds out of your body, but if you take too much medication for too long (and that includes the best legal steroids), your liver can become overworked and even start heading for failure. Working regular off-cycles from steroids into your routine is like a vacation for your liver. There's less for it to process, so it can concentrate on metabolizing any foods or other compounds that head its way.
As with any drug, even nasal sprays, your body can get used to your regular dosage and create withdrawal-like symptoms when you aren't taking the medication. Also, your body can begin to not react as well to your regular dosage, as if the medication you were taking were becoming weaker and not having as great an effect. Going off the medication gives your body a chance to readjust so that the next time you take it, your system is more sensitive to the doses that it gets.
Taking steroids long-term can affect the regular, natural production of testosterone in your body. By giving your body a break with an off-cycle, you allow it to start producing its own hormones again instead of reinforcing the idea that regular hormone production no longer has to occur.
Unfortunately there is no one process for initiating an off-cycle that will fit everyone. You should taper off use, but the length of time and amounts of steroids as you taper off will vary from person to person. It's advisable to work with a doctor to ensure that you taper off safely and slowly and that your off-cycle health shows improvement, rather than constant withdrawal symptoms. If you have other questions about legal steroid use, contact not only your doctor but also your trainer and the companies that make the legal steroids. Start slowly so that you know how your body reacts to any new medications you try to take.