T Nation

21, 162 lb, 5'11"


Hey guys. I’d need some pointers on where to move from where I am. I am in a situation where I don’t know what to focus on. I look skinny but still have a layer of fat over my body which is discouraging (as you can see on some photos, I can pinch a lot of it). I have been bulking for about a year and a half or two years, I used to weight 120 lbs. I bulked up to about 171 lb and now I’ve been in deficit for about 4-5 weeks. But looking back, I gained mostly fat probably, little bit of muscle and little bit of strength.

I’ve also made a thread here a few weeks ago, I had my blood tests done and I have a low T for my age (456 ng/dl). I think that’s also a reason why I have hard time progressing and putting on some real muscle…

Any help appreciated.


Lift harder. Most people underestimate what they’re capable of in the gym, and it leaves them spinning their wheels. If you don’t challenge your muscles, they have nothing to adapt to. Identify the hardest-working lifter in your gym, then outwork him/her.

Your BF level is not that bad. You look OK–better than 75% of guys your age. So why not tighten up? The thing is, if you cut calories too low, it’s going to interfere with your ability to gain muscle. And at 21, you’re in prime gaining territory. Don’t squander this phase of your life. Take my word for it, you’re never going to be 21 again.

Don’t put too much stock in a single T measurement. And for God’s sake, think twice before committing yourself to 60 years or more of injections.


Yeah, I know, this is the youngest I will ever be, haha…

I really don’t like the idea of injecting myself for the rest of my life. I am going to talk to some doctors this month and I’ll see what they’ll say. Honestly, it is not just about the muscle. I have all the symptoms of low T and it is pointlessly making my life harder than it has to be.

So overall - what would you say I should do right now? Discard my cut and continue bulking and just trying harder than I am?


Yes. Lift really hard–harder than you ever have. Push yourself on every work set. Eat lots of good, quality food. Watch your weight, but don’t stress over it. So long as you’re not gaining more than 2-4 pounds/month, you’re OK.

The ‘symptoms of low T’ are vague and non-specific, and a number of conditions can cause them. So before you commit yourself to a lifetime of needles (and possible fertility issues), consider every other option. Also, once you get your workouts dialed in and are making progress in the gym (and the mirror), you may find your ‘low T symptoms’ resolve on their own.


Good progress on bulking from 120. I don’t think you should be cutting at all. Just eat till you’re full and put in work.


Continue to try to build. The biggest regret I have is not just focusing on building muscle in my late teens/early 20s. These are your best years for growth, so take advantage of them! As for low T, you most likely dont have low test, it’s more likely something else in your life giving you those symptoms. But a blood test cant hurt, and I think everyone, no matter what their age, should get a blood panel done for general health purposes


Well, as I said, I had my blood done. It came at 456 ng/dl total test and my free test was also very low :confused:


Thanks :slight_smile:


You went from 120 to 160 without getting your bf totally out of control. You gained muscle. Also that testosterone is still within normal range.