Can You Keep Your Gains After a Steroid Cycle?

| by Truth Seeker |

A frequently discussed question among bodybuilders and people on steroids is whether you can keep your gains once you are off gear. Unfortunately, or not, the answer of is no.

Why are anabolic steroids so effective at making people more muscular?

Anabolic steroids, technically known as anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), are drugs that have properties and effects similar to the hormone testosterone in the body. They increase the protein within cells, especially in skeletal muscles, by altering the regular synthesis of protein.

The reason why people get so abnormally muscular on steroids is that even a small cycle increases the testosterone levels far beyond the normal range. This literally means that the ability of the body to build muscle mass multiplies.

In essence, the user becomes a super human compared to the mortals doing it naturally. During a successful cycle, it’s not uncommon to gain 15lbs/7kg or more of actual muscle mass.

Of course, even on steroids, the gains slow down at some point because the organs and the androgen receptors burn out.

Reaching Your Genetic Potential

While the Satanists in the world want you to believe that you can be a God, the truth is that you can’t. In one of his popular interviews, the actor Will Smith said that 2 + 2 will equal whatever he wants it to equal. This reveals the belief that man is as powerful as God. Similar statements are the equivalent of saying that you are going to beat gravity or live 200 years. It’s unnatural and never going to happen.

The same limitation principle applies to building muscle. There are two limits in the world of muscle fiber construction – your natural limit and your steroid limit.

This is how life works. Sorry, but work and ego sickness are not going to change that for you. You can choose to ignore the limits, but that would be as effective as ignoring the existence of gravity or the need to sleep. Tell us how it goes for you.

So, what happens when you go off steroids?

Example 1

Person A starts taking steroids after reaching his natural genetic potential. He does a few cycles and gains 40lbs/18kg of bodyweight (mostly muscle and water).

Let’s say that the individual’s maximum genetic potential was something like 170-180lbs/77-82kg and thanks to the steroids he reached the magic 220lbs/100kg.

Once that person cuts off the drugs completely, he will revert back to 170-180lbs. The period between 220lbs and 170 -180lbs will be a nightmare.

When you stop taking steroids, your testosterone levels will be extremely low. It will take them a long time to revert back to normal. If you have been injecting for a very lengthy period, your endocrine system may never recover completely.

Example 2

Person B starts taking steroids before actually reaching his genetic potential. Let’s say that the individual in question has a 170lbs maximum genetic potential but starts taking steroids at 150 lbs and reaches 200 lbs. Once that individual stops using the drugs, he will drop to 150 -160lbs. Some of the muscle can be kept because the individual had room for natural growth before roiding up. However, most likely, person B will also fall back down to the starting point.


In the presented cases, there are 3 factors contributing to growth – steroids, training, and nutrition. Once you remove anabolic steroids from the equation, the other two will have to compensate. That’s impossible.

If you could support your steroid gains by just training more and eating better, you wouldn’t have to take steroid in the first place. Training and eating have never been capable of producing drug-like results.  When you don’t have the required hormones in your system to support your new muscle mass, all your gains will evaporate over time. Nutrition and training can only do so much. Food and lifting cannot alter the regular synthesis of muscle protein. Therefore, they cannot replicate the effect produced by anabolic steroids.

Here’s an even simpler explanation:

Tommy works two jobs. His day job as a clerk earns him USD 1000. Since he needs more money, he also works as a gigolo at night and gets paid USD 6000 a month. One day Tommy gets tired of satisfying sexually deprived ladies and quits. His income will drop to USD 1000, and eventually, this will have a reflection on his lifestyle. Regardless of how hard he works at his clerk job, he is never going to reach his income as a gigolo.

Can’t I just keep some of the gains? I promise I’ll be a very good boy.

No, you can’t. Sorry. You can’t keep any gains that came solely from steroids. You can only keep the gains that you were going to have with or without steroids.

In conclusion

No matter what they tell you, you can’t keep your steroid gains. There are many people who claim that it’s possible, but they are basically liars, idiots or steroid sellers.

Even the pros downsize significantly once they stop taking steroids.

Below is a typical bodybuilding detransformation that illustrates what happens once you quit.

Chris Cormier's bodybuilding detransformation is a proof that you can't keep much of your gains once you are off gear.

Chris Cormier’s bodybuilding detransformation is a proof that you can’t keep your gains once you are off gear.

At the end of the day, we always pay the price for our actions. We can lie only to ourselves and other people, but never to nature. We are nothing but little scripts running on a big computer. We choose neither the programming language nor the source code.

P.S. If you want to learn more about the human potential for growth, check out the book Potential: How Big Can You Get Naturally, as well as the rest of the articles on the site.

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  1. joesantus

    The late Dan Duchaine, a “steroid expert” who authored the first and second editions of “The Underground Steroid Handbook”, is often cited by those who insist that most or at least part of the gains made from steroids can be kept after ceasing steroid use.
    During my over forty years of (natural, drug-free) bodybuilding, I’ve observed some of Dan Duchaine’s statements being distorted (probably unintentionally) and misunderstood.

    If Duchaine is going to be quoted or referenced at all in a discussion, then it seems important to be accurate about what he actually said.

    Also, it’s important to realize that Duchaine changed his conclusions as he accumulated further data and experience. What he stated later about a point is not necessarily what he stated originally about that point. What Ducahine advised in, say, 1980 is not necessarily what he finally advised in, say, 1995. Therefore, it’s essential to be sure what’s being quoted or referenced is his final conclusion about a point of drug science, not an earlier conclusion which he himself would later acknowledge was erroneous.

    Dan Duchaine said THIS is in 1995:

    “…At least when you stop steroids, it takes a year or more for all those gains to completely disappear….”

    (Found in Duchaine’s reply when critiquing the effectiveness of IGF-1, at the end of Duchaine’s answer to the first question in this interview: )

    Duchaine’s often-cited or paraphrased thought that “after stopping steroids, one can keep most of the gains made while on steroids” needs to be kept in context of his implication that typical, (what he defines as) proper steroid use involves a long-term lifestyle of on-steroids then off-steroids then on-steroids cycles. As he states in the opening sentence of Chapter Twelve of his 1989 “Underground Steroid Handbook II”, the chapter entitled, “Getting Off Steroids”, “…Even though it’s possible to use anabolic steroids all year long and still maintain one’s health, there are a number of reasons why an athlete should stop using steroids for a while….”

    Meaning, Duchaine’s advice for post-cycle therapy to minimize loss concerned steroid-users who might go off steroids FOR A WHILE. Dan Duchaine never said that anyone can keep most of their gains if they quit using steroids then NEVER use them again.

    1. jeffery evans

      this guy doesn’t know what he is talking about, i have the same amount now as when i stopped you just have to keep working out and eating right

  2. John

    This whole article is bullshit.

      1. Mark

        If you PCT perfectly and recover your natural endocrine function and continue to diet and train perfectly, you will likely retain most of your gains. This is how I run my PCT for my four weeks. Both clomid and nolva are beneficial in there own ways for pct. Clomid 50/50/25/25mg, Nolva 40/40/20/20mg ?. So glad I found “Getpct365” in Google and got them. Clomid and nolva work great. However, bodies react differently to these drugs. So bloodwork before and after any cycle is highly advised and needed to see if a PCT is needed.

      2. Doc

        Clear, this author is not a scientist but an opinion-ist (not helpful) and the article total garbage. Get a proper educatipn. THEN you may speak.

  3. Quinn

    Lmao to the previous poster!


  4. Beavis

    You lost me at Will Smith and Satanism.. seriously.. What THE FUCK?! lol

  5. Jay

    I find it very hard to believe you can’t keep some of your gains after a cycle. I understand how steroids work but still, just doesn’t make sense that you lose everything

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Why wouldn’t it make sense? After you come off your hormones are all over the place. It’s a very painful experience.

      1. You're Pathetic

        Having no muscle like you do is the most painful experience.

      2. ChronicGainzzzz

        I gained 45 lbs on my 1st cycle, with proper pct and a higher calorie intake I kept 35lbs if it.. don’t read something and believe that shit try it out for yourself

  6. Rob

    Satanism? God? Seriously? No one with half a brain believes in God or satan anymore dude.. Or did you write this article from a cave somewhere in the Middle East?

    1. Robert Lulek

      I would tell you young man there is a God if you know me and you don’t unfortunately then you would understand there is a God I know because he has done miracles in my life and I have met him he calls those who he chooses and only a fool would believe there is no God just look at this under wraps elephants Tigers phone they all just came to be to me that’s foolishness that’s like saying an F-15 jet just made itself

  7. Matt C

    I believe in God. I guess I must live in a cave and be uneducated.

  8. John

    With as often as your science changes the things it claims to know, along with still discovering new things daily, I find it impossible to not believe in God(and only one at that). We can disprove science quickly and efficiently, but we have yet to disprove the existence of God. Put that in your protein blender.

    1. St nicholas

      we have also yet to disprove the existence of santa clause. So until science can provide indisputable evidence that santa clause does not exist, then I suggest you start putting milk and cookies near the fireplace each Christmas from now on, otherwise prepare for a box of coal, asshole.

  9. bob

    The story about Tommy is such a terrible analogy that it’s difficult to right. I’ll do my best.

    Tommy earns a 1000 dollars a month as a clerk, at night he works a seocnd job and makes 6000 as a Gigolo, He get’s tired of satisfying sexually deprived ladies. Tommy decides to spend the extra money wisely and further his education. For a while he will not be earning much money and perhaps even less than as a Clerk. After some time however he completes his education. This enables him to work his way up to earning as much money as he did as a Gigolo and in short order.. Still, had Tommy worked only as a Clerk he may have worked his way up the ranks eventually yet it would have simply taken much longer to get there.

  10. Mike

    I did 3 cycles of Steroids during college. I started the first cycle (dbol) solo for 8 weeks weighing 122 lbs (I am 5’7″). I finished the cycle at 138 lbs, did no pct of any kind and no other drugs for the next 6 months. I kept training and started my 2nd cycle at 138 lbs and finished at 166 lbs (test cyp, eq, anadrol 50) 10 weeks. I kept training, took teslac and hcg for 2 weeks pct only, then no other drugs for the next 6 months. 3rd cycle deca durabolin solo for 8 weeks started 165 lbs finished at 178 lbs. I then took no pct and took no other drugs for several years and trained off and on. My weight stayed steady at 175lbs. I started a new training program and actually started practicing sound nutrition. I was able to get to 196 lbs without drugs and lost bodyfat over the next 2 years. Fast forward 18 years and I weigh 205 with albeit higher bodyfat but still more muscle that at 196 lbs after training sporadically. I am now training to maintain weight at 205 and drop my bodyfat to single digits. Long story short, you can most definitely keep at least some of your muscle gained using steriods if your genetic makeup supports your body having the muscle and you actually caused new muscle growth in the first place. Could I get to 250lbs then maintain it? Probably not. Being only 5’7″ I’m sure my genetic limits are closer to the 220 range max.

    1. Jim

      Did you get any side effects ?

  11. Bob

    Yeah lot’s of examples out there. I’ve never lost any gains made on a cycle. Obviously if running a wet compound you will lose water weight in pct and your muscles won’t be as full. Lean gains remain however if they’re within your natural potential. Steroids can certainly fast track your way there. Ofcourse I would never say there’s no risks in using steroids, any drugs for that matter. You have to weigh up risk vs reward.

    1. joe santus

      …and, that’s an important point: that gains made on steroids which fall WITHIN A PERSON”S NATURAL GENETIC potential can largely if not completely remain after steroids are stopped. But steroid gains made which are ABOVE a person’s natural mass potential will eventually disappear, even if subsequent training and eating are optimal and consistent.

      Testosterone is the reason.

      A person’s genetics include testosterone levels. The amount of muscle that person can carry is limited by his natural T level. Growing muscle is a slow process. It typically requires about four consecutive years of correct, consistent training and eating to attain the maximum natural mass his testosterone level will support.

      If a person has not reached his max mass yet — say, he’s only grown about one-third of it — and begins taking steroids, then he’ll grow muscle faster than he can drug-free. He can attain the amount of muscle his genetics allow and even easily surpass that amount, in far less than four years.

      If he then quits steroids, he will eventually lose whatever amount of muscle he built which surpasses his natural genetic limits.

      However — his natural testosterone level will enable him to keep most or even all of that muscle which he would have built in four years if he’d remained steroid-free. The steroids got him to that level of muscle quicker than he could build it naturally; but once he has it, his body can sustain it (as long as he keeps bodybuilding) because it’s the amount of muscle his testosterone level can naturally sustain.

      After a person stops steroids, the steroid gains WITHIN the amount of muscle a person’s natural testosterone level will sustain can be kept…but gains ABOVE the amount his genetic T level can sustain will eventually vanish. No matter what.

    2. David

      This article is extremely flawed. First of all, whoever wrote this article is assuming that the steroid user doesn’t know shit about what he’s doing. With proper diet, training and a good PCT you’ll keep at least 50% of your lean mass gains. Water weight? Of course you’ll lose most of it, but NOT all of your lean mass!!

      The body stops producing Testosterone after a cycle, yeah, but that’s why you do a good PCT!!! That way you’ll recover your natural test levels and you’ll keep your gains.

      For all of you out there who want to do a cycle: start with Test Enanthate 500mg/week (no more than that) and run it with HCG and an AI like Arimidex for no more than 12 weeks. For the PCT: use Nolvadex and/or Clomid for at least 4 weeks and reduce the dosage towards the end. Start the PCT 2 weeks after your last Test injection. You could also kickstart your PCT with HCG in those two weeks. Do this and you won’t lose all your muscle gains like this article’s author claims.

      I’m not encouraging you to do it, just do it right if you’re gonna do it.

      The guy who wrote this article did very little research and has no experience with AAS.
      Also, the Chris Cormier example is stupid and isn’t the rule. You can’t just show one example of a Mr. Olympia dude losing his gains and say “THIS IS PROOF THAT YOU’LL LOSE ALL YOUR GAINS AFTER STOPPING STEROIDS!!!”. No, that’s proof that you’ll lose all your gains if you retire and stop training hard and dieting, it will happen to anyone, natty or not.

      After a cycle you’ll keep like half of your gains (which amounts to more than what you’ll gain naturally in a year), you won’t grow man boobs and you won’t have a heart attack, so long you’re not stupid and use reasonable dosages and you don’t go on for too long, have a good OCT (AI and HCG) and a good PCT (SERMs) and so long you keep training hard and dieting.

  12. danny

    When you quit your gigolo job you will stop making that big progress of earning money, but you will have made savings and those savings can be kept as long as you don’t gamble. For example you can buy a flat flat with them. Once you stop working your night job you will no longer be earning so much to keep buying new flats but the ones you have already bought will remain. This article is basically saying while you work you will have flats and when you get on pention your flats will majically dissapear and you will be at the same spot that you were 20 years ago before you started working…

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      No. When you use steroids to buy those flats, you are buying them with a mortgage. When you don’t have steroids, you can’t pay your mortgage. You will lose your flats over time. Try logic next time.

    1. joe santus

      Hehe…the studies themselves cited by that article NOwhere state “Some gains…don’t ever disappear”..

      Rather, one of the studies the article cites indicates that SOME of the gains were still present four or five months after the steroids were discontinued. But, the studies cited did not follow up beyond those few months — and, as the late steroid advocate and expert Dan Duchaine himself acknowledged, “it takes a year or more for all those gains to disappear” after ceasing steroids.

  13. bob

    Lol they won’t ever put arguments to rest. Once a year cycles for me personally. I like to be natural for the majority of my time as it suits my lifestyle. Remote travel etc . I not only maintain my gains from cycles but continue to get stronger in PCT and the 10 month down time.

  14. marcus

    When you take exogenous steroid, your body will produce less testosterone because of the negative feedback (the body tells the hypothalamus to stop producing GnRH, and your main source becomes exogenous steroids). With years of steroid usage you testosterone producing organ is gonna become atrophy and might not produce normal testosterone level ever again. When you come of exogenous steroids, you produce less than normal testosterone level. Muscle mass requires testosterone in order to maintain that amount. That’s why working out increase test level, but even if you workout and lift the same amount of weight after coming off steroid your your body will not produce that amount of testosterone. Your body will then start breaking down muscle and you will lift even less. Your body will never get bigger than what you were genetically entitled to and I bet, you’ll be smaller than what you could have gain naturally because you’re gonna exhaust those androgen receptor and damage those testosterone producing organ. You might even damaged the organ (pituitary) that tells the testosterone producing organ to make testosterone or even the organ (hypothalamus) that tells the organ that tells the testosterone producing organ to produce testosterone! 🙂

  15. bob

    I actually agree with you in regards to steroid abuse and further more that even light users and one time users may never fully recover. it is a gamble and one can only minimize the risk both by drug choice and minimizing their reliance on steroids. One thing that is worth mentioning is there are not only the long lasting negative impacts associated with steroid use but also unfair advantages they can provide an ex user. The effects of muscle memory apply for one thing and for those who have used steroids to build muscle beyond their natural limit there are studies to suggest steroid use increases the number of satellite cells in muscle which can last years if not a lifetime after cessation of use. This provides an unfair advantage for an ex user over a lifelong natural trainee even years later and infact allows for the potential of an ex user to possess more muscle mass than they could as a natural despite no longer using the drugs. While they will naturally lose gains beyond their natural limit it’s also possible they may be able to surpass their natural limits due permanent intramuscular changes. I say may because a damaged HPTA in some users would potentially compromise any potential benefit to be seen.

  16. Amster

    This a crap article based on broscience. If you keep training, do your PCT proper, you will retain gains moreso than if you never touched roids. It will take a few years for you to lose them. The picture of the pro bodybuilder losing all his gains is fkery again. These pros, some fk their systems up so bad they have to come off and cannot train and their systems don’t recover and they can’t take steroids thus they end up losing massively. In moderation, it’s ok.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Sure, buddy.

  17. Saeed

    Useless article about steroids.
    Actually you lose some of the weight gain but definitely you dont lose all of weight that you gain in steroid cycle. Steroid + training + diet can help you to reach your natural genetic potential very fastar than only training + diet. But what percentage of that gain disappears after the steroid cycle? It depends on your genetic, your cycle, pct, type of steroids you use, your diet, and how hard you training during and after cycle. By the way! Where is those money that tommy earns while he work as gigolo?!! Think about it! Maybe he hide those money somewhere 😉

  18. BibbyBro

    This is just an article written by a clear hater of steroids – the ‘clear proof’ i.e a photo of Chris Cormier is just that – a photo of a pro bodybuilder who has definitely smashed gear in over an extremely long period – likely fucking up his natural T production (as well as other things). There for sure there are reprecussions to hitting 1000mg of tren for 10 years.

    I did a cycle 3 years ago (10ml sus, 10ml deca over 10 week- top loaded – didnt run a PCT at this dose) – went from 78kg up to 90kg. over the years I’ve dropped to around 88kg and its held there.. that’s still 10 KG over what is started with.

    Hard for some people to grasp that there is an easier way to build muscle, and keep it. but that’s the truth – do it responsibly, and steer clear of the harsher substances and there are many lasting benefits/gains.

  19. Graham Higgins

    Author is poorly informed. Needs to do more research and give a balanced argument. I am natty, and I get the authors anger towards enhanced athletes. However, he lets his anger get in the way of facts. For sure, we’re natural and we’re doing things the hard way and we want that to be somehow better or give better gains. However, whether made with PEDs or naturally the gains look just as good. The only advantage natural really has (assuming you don’t start PEDs when your young and never learn how to train) is you don’t have to risk your health, especially if your buying your roids from some dodgy internet lab.

  20. Goldust

    It’s funny reading the comments from people who are delusional enough to seriously think that they can take steroids, get to their desired size, and then go off and keep all of the gains.

    And then when someone tells them the truth of the matter, they have a tantrum like a little kid that was just told that Santa Claus doesn’t exist.

  21. Bob

    This isn’t rocket science and it’s been said a million times before . The body will always REVERT BACK TO IT’S GENETIC POTENTIAL after roids . Joe is 5’8 . Joe’s genetic potential is 180 . Joe starts at 160 and reaches 195 after a few cycles . Joe comes off , but keeps eating & training , Joe loses 15 and stabilises at 180 , his genetic limit . All roids do is get you to your genetic limit and beyond quicker and easier than having to spend years getting there , but you’ll always REVERT BACK TO YOUR GENETIC LIMIT . Addendum – this is if you fully come off , which many rarely do . If Joe comes off his blast and cruises at 300mg he’ll lose a bit of gylcogen and water on the cruise but will still easily be able to stay at 185 – still down 10 , but over his genetic limit , as he’s on supraphysiological levels of test , before moving on to the next blast

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