T Nation

Aging And T


Okay, I have a theory: the decline of T with aging is not that big of a deal. Or at least not as big of a deal as everyone makes it out to be.

Someone tell me if I'm thinking about it wrong. You lose about a percent for every year past 25, right? So at 45 I'm down to about 80% of what I was.

Well, the way I look at it is this: all I have to do is make up 20%, right? Now if I can't boost my T by 20% with GVT or one of the brutal workouts on this thread, well, I don't know what to say.

But all this leads to my question: is there any reason (besides ignorance and laziness and a serious medical condition) not to get your T-levels into the territory of a twenty-something-year-old? Or am I being unrealistic?


Just out of curiosity, what makes you think you can boost your T levels by 20% just by training?
And, what if your normal baseline T levels were "low normal" at age 25, and are now at 80% of a low normal level?


Get a blood test to determine your T levels. I'll bet you they are below your 80% guess. May more than you could imagine. 100% for me is different than for you. Studies show that restoring T-levels to the general range of 30-35 year old can have positive impact on your overall health. Not to mention your sex life....



At 25 my libido was through the roof and I could put on muscle easily. So regardless of whether I was low normal or not, it was satisfactory for me.

And the reason that I think I can boost it 20% by training (potentially) is because of certain articles that I have read where T was boosted by strength training.

Let me ask it another way: do you really think you can go though one of these brutal workouts and not boost your T (esp. if you are gaining muscle)?

Post-40 you can significantly boost your T simply by having more sex!

Let me know if my thinking is wrong...


Thx for responding. I am intrigued by something you wrote: "Studies show that restoring T-levels to the general range of 30-35 year old can have positive impact on your overall health." Are you suggesting restoration by exercise and supplemenation (such as trib/eury, etc.) or are you suggesting restoration via HRT?

Also, I would be very interested in any information about those studies and where I can get my hands on them...


Don't have any articles at hand, but hit google and you'll find plenty. Mostly, my info comes from my Doc who is very progressive when it comes to HRT. She's done her homework and lectures in a lot of the big med schools. I'm not talking here about using test to levels above what is natural. This is restoring levels to where they once were. Recent blood tests show that my T levels are high-normal for a 48 yo. Not good enough. She started me on Test and DHEA. It's amazing how much better I feel and how stronger I am.



Just to add one thing. My Doc would not even have considered this if I wasn't already training hard and eating right and had low BF %.


Very int'g. I appreciate the info. I've got a favor to ask. Can you give me your numbers? (And, yes, I realize everyone is different and there's a big range involved.) I'd like to know what your T-levels were at 48 and what was the 35 year old target levels.

I'm not going to use this as a baseline for myself - I promise. I just would like to know if the way that I'm thinking about T is realistic. I find this stuff fascinating but I don't know if I have a good enough grasp of the numbers.



Interesting? Why? Is it because overweight, out-of-shape men tend to aromatize T at greater levels?


My T level at age 35 was 109, not much more than a 12 year old girl, LOL. My Dr. has me on 100mg of enanthate/week and I have been staying around 650 for the last 2 years and feeling great. On my lab work chart, it has normal T levels being 220 - 860, depending on age. I have heard a more accurate range should be 300 - 1,000, which is what the medical board had of record only 4 years ago. Lower T levels is an epidemic on the rise. But, instead of solving the problem, the (powers that be) just lower the scale. In 10 years, the (medically accepted) normal range will probably be 100 - 650. That's a whole different can of worms though and just my opinion. Good Luck.


While its true that T can decline with age, some of us felt that there was a greater than normal drop. If you work out hard, like me, and you suddenly notice a profound lack of energy and progress, it may be more than a natural decline. If you have any concerns about it, you really should get tested -- guessing is useless. When I finally got tested, I was shocked by the results, and they endorsed what I had been feeling. I was feeling listless, depressed, bored, with almost no libido. I first attributed it to having small kids and no sleep.

Once I got tested, and got Test (I take enanthate shots), things improved very quickly, and very dramatically. Go to an endicrinologist, get tested, and then see. You'll bet physiologic doses, way below what juicers do, so there is very little risk of adverse reactions.

While heavy resistance training does appear to increase test, it is not a substitute for medication if that is called for.


Wow! Sobering comments. Any idea why you were down at 100? Did the docs give you any ideas/clues?


I can't remember what my levels were. I've been doing okay lately including libido, etc., so I really think I'm in a good place for my age. But I will keep your words in mind. When you wrote "physiological doses", you just meant that they're getting you up to "normal" so that adverse reactions are less common, right?



I think you make some very valid points!

I am 49 years old and I can tell you that my workouts are very brutal and my libido is incredibly healthy. I have never seen a need to do anything to artificially up my T levels.

Natural food, proper amount of sleep and hard training sessions have done it for me. I know we are all different, but I honestly think you are onto something.

I have never had my T levels checked because I don't feel there is a need to.


I have been doing a litterature review on the use on Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids and Testosterone Use for Therapeutic Uses.

Increase in physiological levels of testosterone (still in the physiological range) provide relatively sad results in most of the areas investigated.

Bone Loss,
Reduced hematopoiesis (Red Blood Cell, Hemoglobin...)
Depressed Mood
Memory Loss and Impaired Cognition

However, conditions associated with wasting are showing promise with AAS (aids, cancer, COPD, Renal failure)

SARMs are a cool progress in that realm.

People should remember that are eugonadal probably won't be benefiting all that much from physiological replacement of Test.

Secondly, a vast majority are in the range that people would call the low normal. That might go against the cult of Testosterone we have here, saying we're all High-T men, but that's the situation, we're all pretty much down there as far as the range is concerned.

Its after 50 that the real drop starts sometimes it is called Partial Androgen Decline in Aging Males (PADAM) or just ADAM. (Tissue insensitivity to androgens is also a clear posibility).

Unless you are borderlining on hypogonadism, research is not that much on your side.

Of course, if the levels of healthy 30-35 years old (which are quite similar to that of a 25 year old) are 2.5 times your baseline, of course your going to feel it, but replacing you exactly where YOU were at 25 probably won't have all that much effect.

The thing is, unless you've done a series of test on testosterone levels, the doctor is just going to eyeball it, and you are going to hope that he eyeballs it wrong and gets you higer.

I'd try the supplements first, Alpha Male, RED KAT, ZMA and all that jazz.

Good Luck,


Actually, I have nothing against HRT. It's just I want to try everything within my power to avoid that. Why? I'm not sure why. I guess it's just that I have the belief, and I admit I may not be right, that the majority of us can "cheat death" somewhat like Jack La Lanne. I prefer to think that he was not a genetic oddity or juicing it - no pun intended - but rather a man with a genuine alternative if one is willing to pay the same price. In other words, I just have the innate belief that the "natural" alternative is possible for the majority of males.

Thanks for the example and time will tell if I am right...


Thx so much for all the research!

But what about the above poster? I'm confused as to what everyone means by "in the physiological range". He is high normal and probably does not have any of the above conditions. Are you saying he is "just lucky". I'm not being combative - I genuinely want to understand what the literature is saying.


You lost me here. If someone had low libido, struggled with ED, bone loss, etc., why would he call himself a High-T man?? Again, I'm not trying to attack - I just want to understand what you're saying. Are you essentially suggesting that most middle aged T-Nations are probably very much struggling? If you are, that's great - I'm just wondering what you're thinking...


Can you say more?


Hey Whisper,

The above poster above was hypogonadic (the ADAM I mentioned in my previous post).

For various reasons, their testosterone levels drop below what is the normal range.

The normal range in biomedical tests (lab work) usually consists of 2 margins, upper and lower margins. Generally speaking, these limits are placed after testing a great, great number of apparently healthy people. Then you look at the test scores and usually you say that the normal range will consist of 95% of these test results. So basically what your saying is that all the time 5% of the normal healthy people are going to score above or under the limits while they would be fine.

This is done to have an idea of what is high, what is low and what is probably due to disease or a problem. So if you get someone under the margin, sure it could be due to his normal levels, but statistically, there is much more chance that it is due to something else and is not normal. Of course, we also investigate the levels of ''sick'' people to see what they look like. If we get a level of 5000!, we will look for androgen producing tumors, and endocrine problem or Steroid Abuse?

In the case of hypogonadism, the range of 220-860 says to the doc that if you score under 220, this might be ok for you and you feel no ill effects of this or your testosterone production dropped from what you used to produce to 220.

The above poster was saying he was around 109. This is pretty low. Now, I don't know specifically how low you can go without feeling effects, but medicine being based on study evidence and statistical models, you can rarely know exactly what is low for one person if you haven't done the test on that person before. Therefore you assume that 109 is, statistically, due to a problem.

At 109, most men probably experience effects of low testosterone; he was given Test Enanthanate to get back in the physiological rage (which is the range that 95% of men are in or something close to that). So in a way, he became ''Normal'' again.

You lost me here. If someone had low libido, struggled with ED, bone loss, etc., why would he call himself a High-T man?? Again, I'm not trying to attack - I just want to understand what you're saying. Are you essentially suggesting that most middle aged T-Nations are probably very much struggling? If you are, that's great - I'm just wondering what you're thinking...

You are right, I wasn't the clearest here in my explanation.

We were talking about the normal ''physiological'' range of testosterone levels being around 220-860. Here at T-Nation, there is a cult that great strong men are full of testosterone, that they are more predatory, have wolfish grins, score more chicks and so on and so forth, basically everything that you read in one of TC's great editorials.

Being a T-Man on T-Nation.com, is basically saying you're a Man's man, a real masculine individual, a warrior, the last stand of human masculinity in this effeminate world in which we live in.

So what I meant by saying that every guy here sees himself has being one of those guys, strong, powerful, manly and so on and so forth and THEREFORE, big Testosterone machines.

But the reality is that most men in the world (and here on T-Nation) have testosterone levels that near the lower end of the normal physiological levels. So if you looked at a graph of the test results of testosterone levels of a 100 men what you would find is probably something like this:

3 people would be under 220
10 would be between 220 and 300
70 would be between 300 and 400
10 would be between 400 and 700
5 would be between 700 and 860
2 would be above 860

What I am trying to illustrate is that 80% would be between the margin of 220 to 400. And because the way the scores are distributed and we want to include 95% of the normal people in the margin we get a range that extends up to 860, where in reality not many people go that high (but they do fit in the ''Normal'' range because they are OK, it doesn?t look like it is due to a disease and they feel fine)

So here we are stuck with people who might not understand what the range mean and say :

I'm in the lower end, I must have a problem. It is like when you take an exam, you get your result and you got 65%. But the range of results (without the one guy who cheated and got 110% because he even got the bonus question) is between 60% to 95%...but the average is 63% and the median is 63%. You look at the scores of every body, and you have the 2nd highest mark in the class (except for the guy who cheats of course!), the other guy above you is a genius and got 95%. Someone who doesn't have the results of everybody would say: Hum, 65%, this guy is not really good, in fact, he's pretty much at the bottom of the rage of 60% to 95%. That is why some schools/universities/faculties grade on a curve so that the person who reads the transcript knows if the student was very high above average, just above, under average and so on.

Testosterone range are like this, what basically everyone thinks is the low end is pretty much where everybody is at. The guys higher than 400 for example, are pretty rare. (I actually don't remember the exact numbers but I do remember being suprised at how ''low'' the average of testosterone levels was).

So we are all pretty much in the ''low'' end of the range and most of us are doing fine. Hell, I had mine done, when I was 22 and it was nothing to brag about and I don't have any problems (personality, aggressiveness, libido...too much of it even and so on).

As for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, they are still being tested on rats and mice. But they seem to offer a lot of good things in bone maintenance/increase and increased muscle mass, with very little androgenic properties (it was assessed with prostate growth)

In one of the studies I saw, they took 5 groups of mice.

(they = the researchers)

1 group they didn't touch (intact)
1 group they cut of their testicules + Placebo (just the injection vehicule, no active compound)
1 group without testicules + DHT (Di Hydro Testosterone)
1 group without testicules + Low dose SARM
1 group without testicules + Higher dose SARM.

Basically, the SARM brought muscle mass back to the original level of the intact mice. DHT brought it higher. It would have been nice if the SARM had induced greater muscle mass, but it was still very good from a medical perspective (you want people to either keep or gain back what they had, not make them highly muscular, but this is just the beginning of the research, maybe one day we will get SARMs that are very good at building more muscle).

For bone, the SARMs group did better than the DHT group, so they made more bone, which would be great for the treatment of osteoporosis.

The great thing about the SARMs however was its effects on the prostate. When they removed the testicules of the mice, their prostate glands, without the androgens, atrophied. This is because androgens promote the growth of the prostate gland, which is why we use finasteride or dutasteride and even androgen blockers sometimes in the treatment of Benign Prostage Hypertrophy.

The group that got the placebo kept a small prostate relative to the intact group (No androgens, small prostate). The group that got the DHT, got a prostate that grew to twice its original size! Not a good thing!

The group that got the SARMs only grew back their prostate just a little which is great (the less your prostate grows, the better it is, the older we get, the more the prostate grows generally).

So in a way, the SARMs are giving us good benefits with very limited (prostate) side effects. Of course, studies will go on to look into other good and bad effects that androgens are known to have and then they will compare whether SARMs are better or worse in each respect.

We will have to wait a long while until these come out of the pharmaceutical companies, with all the red tape, the human studies, dosing and so on and so forth.

In a way, you were right when you said that testosterone decline is not that great a deal as everyone here is making it seem. For the moment that's what the research states. Androgens supplementation (for people who have ''normal'' testosterone) does not really seem to help much in the study areas that I mentioned above (bone loss, muscle, blood cells...).

For people who are hypogonadic, its a whole different story. That is why the guys above felt so great after the injections.

I hope this clarifies a bit, if not, ask away.