T Nation

Adding Steroids/Anabolics on Top of TRT

Hi,
Looking for recommendations on what to add on top of TRT to gain better results in gym/body index.

39 yrs old, male, on TRT through online med office. Feeling great (knocking on wood). Libido, energy, mood - all in check

235 lb, 6’4’’, current body fat about 24-25%
150 T per week, 3 shots total (50 each),
HCG 1,000 p/w
AI as needed

Latest labs:
Total T 765
Free T 29.6
Hemoglobin Alc 5.3 (4.8-5.6)
Estradiol 42 (8-35)
Hematocrit 47.4
Insulin-like Growth FI 281 (83-233)

I workout 3-4 times a week. I see the results (getting leaner and stronger) but they are not as drastic i want.
I don’t need to be a powerlifter or to complete in bb BUT
being 235 lb, 6’4" it is extremely difficult for me to lose fat or to stay in shape.
To maintain, my calorie intake (to stay within same weight) is about 2100-2200. I might be wrong but I believe this is very low. And very difficult. I could easily eat twice of that.
When I go on diet I have to drop to 1400-1500 to see any results.
As soon as I get above 2500 I gain tons of fat instantly.

I was hoping to get some recommendations on how to increase metabolism and to build some muscles. Or more likely to build muscles to increase metabolism.

Or if i should do some additional labs (thyroid?).

I have seen some information on the internet recommending to add masteron.

any suggestions or information are appreciated!

I would definitely check thyroid labs. Something doesn’t add up. Your IGF-1 is great. Your T is dialed in properly and while your E2 is slightly high, its not bad so long as you have no sides.

What is your workout? I’m 6’0 270 lbs. No idea what my BF% is, but you sound skinny to me.

I don’t have much muscles. yet. got on HRT only 6 months ago. Before that was struggling with T at level 190-220 for several years. Used to workout 4 times per week with no results. Everything I was gaining in the gym was disappearing as soon as I was trying to lose fat.

In first 4 months since HRT started my bench went up from 225 lb x 2 times to 225 lb x 9 then it kind of stopped progressing and I increased my calorie intake from 2,300 to 3,000 per day and gained 8 lb of pure fat in one month.
Now I want to lose fat and surprisingly not having much luck with it. I thought since I switched to injections it should be very easy, especially looking at my results with gaining strength. But I have been on low carb diet for 4 weeks without cheating and lost only 5 pounds. First week I had 2100 per day and didn’t lose anything. Then went on 50 carbs per day and started seeing results.

If you are asking for my gym routine then on high level - i do all groups of muscles twice a week.
6 exercises per group per week, 5 sets, out of those 3 are warming up and 2 until failure. 8-12 reps per set.

Not sure if I answered your question though.
Anyway - thank you for checking my post.

There is no way your calorie maintenance is that low. Unless you’re hallucinating the fact that you work out 4x a week (which seems unlikely) then you should be closer to 3,000 for a guy your size. At 2,100 calories you should be losing like 2lbs/w. Something is off here.

Add four sessions of LISS per week (which you should be doing anyway for general health) Can you give us a comprehensive breakdown of your typical diet for a day? Something isn’t adding up here and I’d like to help.

here is the diet when i get results:
7 30 am: casein with milk 1.5 scoops, 10 oz milk 1%
12 30 pm: chicken breast (300 g), coleslaw mix, bell pepper, olive oil, mustard, cucumbers, slice of bread
4g fish oil
4 pm - 5 30 pm in the gym
6 pm: chicken breast (300 g), coleslaw mix, bell pepper, olive oil, mustard, cucumbers, slice of bread
4g fish oil
8 pm: strawberries

Diet when I was not seeing results (1st week that I mentioned earlier):
Same but add 75 g of carbs on breakfast (oatmeal with berries) and move casein before sleep

To maintain: same as previous only add 75 g for lunch (rice or pasta)

Getting fat: same but add another 75 g of carbs for dinner

Sometimes I replace chicken with fish or turkey. sometimes make ground chicken out of breasts and add 30% of ground beef to it. Sometimes use different veggies but almost always raw.

On Saturday, after I workout in the morning, I might eat sushi or burgers.
Every two weeks on Saturday night get 10 oz of vodka or whiskey. Usually mix with something zero calorie. Like club soda and lemon juice.

One more thing I forgot to mention, I do not move during the day at all. Office plankton. Sit and stare at monitor. So I really hope thats the reason for slow metabolism, not because I have issues with thyroid. I will do labs on it to make sure. My doctor said it will cost about $300 though. Might do it next month.

So, I’m not sure why you’re doing 3 warmup sets and only 2 work sets, but that’s the wrong way around. When you count sets, warm-ups don’t count anyway. You’re doing 2 sets to failure. Do you have a training log to look at? Sitting in the office didn’t kill your metabolism, low caloric intake did, but sitting all day doesn’t help. Start a training log, we’ll help you set up a decent program. State your goals in the log. This isn’t really the right place to do that and other guys looking for that help will benefit from it if it’s in the right place.

here is pretty much what I do (example with bench but can be applied to all exercises):
I am a believer that 10-12 failure sets per week per muscle is the right way to do (with normal T)
1 - 60 lb x 20 or push-ups
2 - 100 lb x 15
3 - 150 lb x 15
4 - 200 lb x 15
5 - 225 lb x 10 (failure)
6 - 240 lb x 7 (failure)

Mon: chest (3 exercises) + legs (3 exercises) + biceps (2 exercises)
Tue: back (3 exercises) + shoulders (2 exercises) + triceps (2 exercises) + abs (2 exercises)

Wed - either resting, either light cardio

Thu = Mon
Fri or Sat = Tue
Sun = rest

makes sense

so my initial thoughts for creating this post were that because I am on HRT already, it won’t hurt to add something on top my T injections. My natural T is already gone anyway.
Am I missing something as it doesn’t look I am getting any recommendations on that direction…
you guys don’t think it would be the right thing to do?

I think you could add something like anavar and it would be what you’re looking for. But the reality is that you’re just not going to get any results because your diet isn’t conducive to gaining muscle.

Here is your macro breakdown for that day:

That’s just under 2,000 calories. If you aren’t dropping weight on that diet then I am baffled. I’m not judging you, I’m saying that I cannot figure out what is going on here.

I am losing fat. In fact first time in many years I am not losing muscles doing diet. My strength is not going down. I am losing like 1 - 1.5 lb per week. So I am super excited. I just thought that my fat loss will be much more significant because I am on T injections. well, and I also thought I will grow muscles (while being on surplus of calories) much more. I guess I overestimated what I should expect from HRT.
Don’t get me wrong, in comparison where I was before HRT, I am in paradise. I feel great. Energy, libido and mood wise.

what ratio would you recommend between pcf? I understand that I don’t need so much protein but it keeps me full. Even slow carbs get dissolved too fast and I will feel hungry sooner than after protein.

Ok, that explanation makes sense. The way it sounded at first was you were on a deep deficit and still not losing weight.

You’re not building muscle much faster or losing fat much faster because you’re not at superhuman levels of testosterone. You’re just normal now. So your progress is that of a normal guy. TRT is great at first because you see such a huge jump in everything. It’s because you’re going from very low to high normal, which feels like a massive change. But once you settle into a routine you’re kind of at the same level of a healthy natty lifter. (Not exactly, but it’s the simplest way of explaining it)

Want more muscle? Want better body composition? You have to either grind it out slowly OR you can start blasting.

It sounds like you’d like to blast. As such I recommend anavar. It’s mild, so it’s a good first choice add-on for a TRT guy. I’ve used it and it was awesome. Currently looking to add it again this Fall. It doesn’t pack on slabs of muscle, but it’s a good slow builder of quality mass.

This is cardio. Just saying. You’re trying to build muscle, right? Warmup is just that, warm up the muscles, not wear yourself out before you start the work sets. I don’t see much point in doing more than 10 reps of anything for any goal, except 20 rep squats.
bar x 5
135 x 5
225 x 10 x 4 or

bar x 5
135 x 5
225 x 5
240 x 5 x 3

would make more sense. And failure is not an option, it’s counterproductive and limits growth and progress.

Side question, since you’re a beast and obviously know your stuff very well: if you wanted to add some size to your frame and you weren’t you (meaning you were an intermediate lifter with good form who had yet to really break through to the next level), would you use 5x5 or GVT? I’m looking to change my whole program (time for something new; got too comfortable) and I’m torn between those two different plans.

Thank you! I will try that.
Any suggestions on my main question? What to add to TRT?

As an over the hill lifter, I can say what I know based on experience, but take it with a grain of salt. I was blessed with some genetics (I had 19 7/8" arms while never doing any biceps work at all at my biggest) and I have a relative that was top ten at WSM twice.
I personally like 5x5. I haven’t looked at GVT really (although I will now that you have brought it up). I think Wendler’s stuff is pretty good as well. Singles don’t do you a lot of good for mass, directly. It’s good to spend a few weeks working up to a peak once in a while though, it can have a big effect on how the weights feel and your capacity. I even like heavy walk-outs sporadically to bump the squat. Confidence with the weight makes a big difference, if you feel like it’s going to crush you, it’s hard to get your head right for the lift. I should also mention that Clint Darden puts out some good stuff as well. Anything 3-5 reps for at least 4 sets will add size with compound work. Guys like to do a lot of isolation work and accessory stuff, but without heavy compound work it just doesn’t give you the same bang for your buck.
That is not entirely a Strongman thing either. I’ve lifted with a guy with an NPC pro card, some pro Highland Gamers, and a lot of Strongmen. There are similarities across the board. Eric Frasure, for example, is a natural and a beast. I think it actually takes lots of volume, but in the form of lower reps and more sets.

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