T Nation

Androgen Under-Responder?


After 5 days running tren ace, I have decided to desist. Same with the test enanthate and dbol. I am not feeling any positive effects for the moment so I guess it is time to regroup. Today is day 32 of this run (4 weeks, 4 days). I had planned 6 weeks of enanthate and 2 additional weeks of tren and dbol, but see no reason to continue at the moment.

I have been overheating with the humid heat in my city and feeling very lethargic. Either I am consistently getting crap gear - which I doubt because past blood tests have confirmed astronomical testosterone levels while on cycle - even when I was nonplussed; or I am an under-responder. Neither the dbol, nor the tren gave me any appreciable strength or weight increase. One of my friends raved about the same tren?

My workouts have been uninspired and I am only maintaining - not progressing. I have had a few compliments, but it seems those are more from hard work than enhancement.

Recently I feel like I am experiencing the effects of DNP instead of AAS. Sweating away and getting leaner. I was two pounds lighter today in the gym (174lbs). The leaning effect of the tren is nice but the cost too high - heat intolerance & low energy with
no noticeable boost in strength. This is only day 5 of tren, but surely I would have felt any positive effect by now. I did the following doses: Day 1 - 38mg | Day 2 - 38mg | Day 3 - 46mg | Day 4 - 50mg | Day 5 - 50mg.

I used two different types of sbol at 30-40mg/d for several weeks with no boost either. I actually felt lethargic and grumpy.


Just as there are times that the body "wants" to grow, there are other times that it just doesn't, and even good drugs may not be able to overcome that when that is the case. I wouldn't come to an overall conclusion just from this, as it could be that this just happened to not be a good time for you.


You have only used trenbolone for five days, at a very low dose, and you feel this is enough time to judge the efficacy of the compound? Are you using pellets or an UG preparation? I wouldn't trust or use an UGL's trenbolone if it was given to me for free.

You sort of just threw in the fact that you have been lethargic and unmotivated. Are you trying to make a direct correlation, where perhaps there may not be one?


Thanks Bill.

W.H.B.: I know it hasn't been long, but I would have expected to feel a power increase after 5 days with acetate. Maybe that is an unreasonable assumption on my part. I may be hair triggered on the tren as a result of a series of disappointments on this cycle starting with test enan, then dbol, now tren. It is UG and I have no way of knowing how well it was brewed. I am not necessarily trying to make the correlation between my lethargy and the gear. I do tend to get energized by good progress in the gym which has been lacking of late. My energy level, training and otherwise, has been lacking too. I am more thinking out load than assigning blame.

There are so many variables. Firstly, we all differ in our response to PEDs. We all have our own unique hormonal homeostasis which is uniquely affected by administering AAS. I guess I am just trying to make heads or tails of my reaction to the compounds in question.


Well, while not the strength gains you had envisioned, you did claim that you have seen an effect form the trenbolone already. You have only used a total of 222mg without a front load. I have used trenbolone at 120mg/day and not experienced appreciable strength gains for two weeks. It takes time for these things to happen.


Gotcha. This is my first run with tren. I guess the timing is just not great - it being so warm here and with the disappointing results from the other compounds to date. I had been looking forward to experiencing the effects first hand. At this point each day just seems a challenge energy and heat wise. I start thinking about possible causes. Heavy metal content in the gear, depression, etc. Hence the idea of regrouping. I had actually made up my mind over night to not continue this morning and then I looked at myself in the mirror and said "nice body comp improvement" and called an audible.


In my experience DH, you always have a health complaint. You analyse your health almost too much it seems, and it is unclear if you have a legitimate health complaint that gives the symptoms you have, or if you simply read too much into daily aches and pains that are perfectly natural.

That said, i distinctly remember why you began using steroids. It was because you believed that the problems you had at the time - (IIRC) lethargy, low drive and motivation, moodiness and weakness along with low muscle mass were due to low Test levels and/or high Estrogen - now, after approx. 1 year of cycles and i believe TRT in between, you still seem to have the same symptoms.
Have you considered that you have a problem that is not directly related to the levels of Androgens and Estrogens in your body?

Without wanting to cast the cat amongst the pigeons... i can imagine a badly placed Tumour (as opposed to a perfectly placed Tumour) could have this effect - as might plain ol' chronic fatigue.

Down to the posts in question, you stopped the Tren Ace very fast.. you didn't even do a week! Sorry, but in your many posts advising the use of this drug, i am sure you would suggest someone else try it longer than this. It takes a good 2 weeks to have an effect on myself, and muscle is noticed before strength.. i would never judge even an oral before 3 weeks.
This coupled with the fact it takes a good 2 weeks for Dianabol to exert its full effect also, you complained about one Dbol product within a few days IIRC again.
I have run a number of dbol runs, and it simply does NOT blow me up like it once did.

You are not only impatient in your expectations, but you also hold the drugs to too high expectations. They can improve functions such as energy, mood, etc. but they can also make you feel lethargic (Anadrol is a common offender), more moody (most high dose androgens do this eventually, and is dependant on your personality), lower sex drive (again higher doses for many).

They are also anabolic as fuck, but this is dependant on many factors - firstly if you do not get in enough protein a day, they wont do much in someone with a couple of cycles experience. The protein is paramount, as is peri-workout nutrition, then the training being in proportion to motivation, recovery and life stresses (less can be more if you are a busy person).

Also, what BR touched on is a problem i took to another site i frequent. I wasn't gaining - from 1.5g of androgens a week, it wasn't doing much. I was given the best reply by a top level amateur BB there; he said that sometimes you JUST DON'T GROW. It isn't possible to grow indefinitely, week in week out and sometimes it is about getting to the gym, getting in the calories and correct macro-ratio, taking the supplements and living well.. but just maintaining. This is where BB gets difficult he reminded me (something i learnt as a natural trainee and had since forgotten or dismissed since beginning serious AAS use), as you are tested for patience when your efforts are fruitless.

But eventually, after time has healed the body and you are ready to progress, the next boost in calories will give you the gains you desire and deserve. That is exactly what happened as i sit here 10lbs heavier and in better shape than that day.

Again, i say that but this doesn't feel like it is your issue.. as i reminded you - you had these issues before AAS use, and i can only remember 1/2 of a cycle where this was 'cured'.
Your first run didn't fix the issues and you have little energy and motivation. This was attribbuted to fake gear and you got more which you claimed worked (or was it the time you spent on?).
You seem to believe you have fake gear very often, but i don't think that is the case. They are not wonder drugs and can't change you. If you are ill or depressed, steroids are not going to help. Only androgen related lethargy and low mood will be fixed by AAS.. otherwise it is not what is needed.

The reason i post this is because i do not think you suffer from fake gear cycle in cycle out - i think there is something else going on, thats all. Look into it. :wink:


Actually I have no aches and pains right now. Knock wood. My current dissatisfaction lies with lethargy, low energy, overheating.

Yes, that was a natural avenue to explore. Having an elevated testosterone level didn't magically solve all those issues. Maybe several symptoms are related. Chemical imbalance (one of the feel-good brain chems like dopamine or seratonin) and response to AAS?

Could be either of the above. Possibly burnout. More likely a chemical imbalance.

I hear you on this and have already admitted that I may be short changing the potential effects of tren that I could reap. I just feel I'll be better served doing another cycle when the weather is cooler as I feel particularly susceptible to the humid heat right now. I also feel that my body is not responding ideally to these PEDs right now. I think I've got to get to the bottom of these depression issues and possibly detox.

I am impatient when I feel like crap. I have felt good from past runs of test enan and from a past run of dbol. Now I don't seem to be getting that effect. I did finally get a blood reading back from the tail end my first cycle when I doubted the BD test enan and my level was stratospheric! So the gear was decently dosed. I sometimes wonder about heavy metals, but I digress. I think maybe my thai pinks were OK and I just didn't respond well to them. I may test that theory on someone at my gym as I have around 900 of the little critters left.

I have been eating 4500 calories per day low carb. 344 grams protein | 295 grams fat (74 grams saturated, 74 grams polyunsaturated, 122 grams monounsaturated) | 118 grams carbs. That may be part of my problem, but I tend to feel more even on low carbs. I have 1 scoop iso protein just prior to training (0 carbs, 0 fat, 27g protein) and 1.5 scoops (40 odd grams of protein) with 12 Oz. Pineapple juice immediately post workout. Again probably not ideal if I look at CT's new para-workout recommendations.

Yes, you have done well especially considering all the upheaval you have gone through in your personal life.

Thanks for the motivational aspect of that message. That will push me not to cave in as I wrap up this cycle and prevent me from using getting off as an excuse to atrophy.

Fair enough.

Will do :wink:


Just out of curiosity...have you tried Biotest's Receptormax supplement? I have no idea how well it works, but one of the affects it claims to have is to increase the number of androgen receptors. Maybe worth looking into? Just a thought.

Good luck man, hope ya feel better


Dynamo, have you ever been on a high carb diet? My diet used to consist of low carbs/high fat and I felt like shit (regardless of my calorie intake). Try increasing switching you diet to high carb, see how your body reacts. Diet has a massive effect on mood and gains in the gym (we all know this), maybe it is just the change your body needs.


Can androgen receptors down regulate? What determines the "amount" of androgen receptors? Muscle mass? genetics?


IFBB, here is an article Bill Roberts wrote on Androgen Receptor Regulation:



Are you not having any carb refeeds?


There's a lot to respond to here but unfortunately I don't have the time to spend on too much more than this:

You are being silly to drop tren after only 5 days. You haven't even started, and you don't know what the "real" effects are going to be like for another week at the very least. If you are going to be so wishy-washy with your drugs, you should not be taking them in the first place.

Now, for the nice stuff. I can tell you from multiple personal experiences that the first week or two on tren is always the most miserable. Indeed, the introduction of any new AAS even to an existing cycle usually wreaks some kind of havoc on my system for a couple of weeks until my body can adjust to the levels and everything stabilizes. One example is that, during my current cycle, when on test/tren/dbol, I got a massive outbreak of acne near the start of my cycle, but after a couple of weeks, almost all of the zits disappeared and now I have pretty well clear, healthy skin, despite its being oily the majority of the time. The sleeplessness from tren, similarly, usually is the very worst in the first week, and gets gradually better from that time on. After a month on tren I am usually sleeping almost like normal (almost).

Seriously, though, if your commitment to your cycle is so weak that you cannot see it through for even a single week, I don't think much any of us here can say is going to be of any actual help to you.


1 cheat meal per week. Not necessarily from the cleanest sources. Typically my favourite - pizza, a glass of wine followed by desert. I occasionally (rarely) have a meal with some chic pea and kidney bean salad or cous cous and chic pea salad.


Harsh but true that more time is needed to assess results. This is the only compound that I have short-changed. The others were given adequate time. As I explained ceasing the tren is the result of an accumulation of dissatisfaction. Still, It is presently morning and I cannot say that after reading your words that I am not tempted to administer my morning shot (not having missed any yet).

It is helpful to hear of the trials and tribulations you overcame with tren. Often these are left out in people's accounts. I am fortunate not to be affected by acne, nor insomnia to this point. I have actually been sleeping well. My main complaints were sluggishness and overheating as well as morale.

As stated I have done almost 5 weeks on cycle and prior ones for 6 weeks and 10 weeks. I am less concerned about my commitment to my cycle than what we all strive for - to feel good.

Thanks for your views Cortes.


Just finished pinning. I'll stick it out for a while longer to take advantage of the opportunity to gauge tren ace's effects.

Thanks to all for helping me through the thinking process.


There isn't downregulation in the sense that used to be commonly claimed of, supposedly, using anabolic steroids decreasing the number. However, relative to zero androgen at all, introducing androgen to some low level does decrease the number, compared to that unusual state of zero androgen. There is evidence that relative to normal levels, increased androgen increases the number of androgen receptors.

I don't know if there's substantial variation between individuals in average number of androgen receptors per muscle cell. An interesting question to be sure, but I've never seen anything on it.

It seems likely to me that as the number of nuclei in muscle cells increases -- note for others, muscle cells are unusual in that they have multiple nuclei per cell, and the number increases when satellite cells fuse with the muscle cell -- the number of androgen receptors probably increases, because there is then more DNA coding for androgen receptors. However this clearly doesn't cause an exponential effect where the bigger you get, the easier it is to get still bigger yet, but rather only helps making possible getting bigger yet rather than limiting one to a ceiling set by the previous number of nuclei in the cells.


DH, have you done just 3 cycles, including this unfinished one?


Brook: Yes this is my third cycle.