Dr. Darden, Thoughts on TRT, Mk-677, and HCG?

Hey Dr. Darden. I recently had some blood work done & it showed my testosterone level was at 266 (and I’m 28) and was told I qualify for TRT. My Estrogen levels were low & my Progesteron levels were high. The test also showed my growth hormone levels were also pretty low & was told to take Ibutamoren Mesylate or Mk-677. The clinician also instructed me to inject myself with HCG twice a week towards the end of my cycle. Since it was my first time ever taking all this I jaf a few questions I was hoping you would answer.

How can I maximize my results in the gym while on TRT?

Anything I should look out for?

Whats your opinion about TRT, Mk-677 & HCG?

Please let me know. Thank you.

Sorry, but I’ve had no experience in dealing with hormones you mentioned.

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Castidavid 222,

I recommend you ask these questions in the T replacement section of this forum.

Considering your age, and recall pictures of you previously in a good shape - I get a bit suspicious whether there is a permanent state of your declared labs, or not? Hormone assays should be taken on several occasions to get a trend over time, in order to make correct judgements. Only my perspective.

Someone was very quick in prescribing various drugs to you, in my humble opinion. There must be more to this than the information you have shared. You simply just don’t have these hormonal issues by themselves.


Better yet, have a personal conversation or appt. with a qualified MD.

I actually compared my T level to blood work I did back in November 2015 and it was the exact same number which was 266 when the standard range for men is around 700. It blows my mind how I’ve been able to build muscle and loose fat.

I assume the objective of the treatment is to normalize your hormone levels. That being the case, wouldn’t you maximize your results by training the same way as those with normal hormone levels? In other words, if you get yourself back to normal, why would special approaches be needed?

On the other hand, if you are seeking to reach supra-physiologic levels of testosterone, this forum probably isn’t the right place to ask for advice.

As for how you build muscle with testosterone at the low end of normal: perhaps you have exceptionally good androgen receptor sensitivity or density (as per the following T-nation article):

Finally, given your age, it might be worth some effort to figure out if your low T-levels are fixable with lifestyle modifications. Do you plan on being on TRT for the rest of your life? It might not be hugely expensive, but over the decades you would be spending a lot of money on medications…

Between cycles I’ll try & see if I can maybe figure it out. That article was actually very very insightful it exposed me to something new. I appreciate it.

For what it is worth, my levels have always been on the low end – under 350 from the first test I had in my 20s (I can’t recall precisely when). I never had any low T symptoms and my raw lifts topped out at 545, 413 and 606 in the 264# weight class. In my case at least, my low levels were apparently normal for me and I was able to build plenty of muscle and strength despite them. Perhaps you are similar.

In one the Dr. Books, he related a study that muscle will grow even in the absence of these hormones. Study was with Mice. Was in the New BB for Old school results.