T Nation

First Cycle Issues - On TRT


#1

I’ve been on TRT for close to 3 years now due to hypogonadism and Thyroid issues. I’ve always trained hard but until prescribed, had never touched any kind of PED. The cause of my hormone issues is still unknown.

Current TRT dose is 250mg per week of Sustanon divided into 2 Injections. I also take 0.5mg adex 3 times a week.

Earlier in the year I decided to run a cycle of 500mg test e per week for 14 weeks. After 4 weeks of injecting the Test E I was feeling really moody, had lost strength, appeared to have gained fat and basically felt depressed, similar to how I felt before starting treatment. As a result of this, I injected my prescribed sustanon and within a day or 2 felt much better.

I continued to run my prescribed sustanon at 500 mg per week for the next 3 weeks until I found another source that had a small amount of Sustanon which I bought and began injecting 3 weeks ago at 500mg a week. I’m now beginning to feel similar to how I did when injecting the Test E.

Throughout this entire “cycle” I feel I’ve made no better gains in strength than when I was on 250 mg per week and when I consider the fat / water gain, I’ve made less progress than normal.

My libido hasn’t been great since I began having hormone issues, even on 250mg test a week but it seems to be even worse now.

Has anyone ever had a similar experience to this or have a way to explain it other than I’ve been sold fake test from 2 suppliers?

Was thinking that maybe the body doesn’t react so well (growth) to additional exogenous hormones when a constant supply is already in place? Perhaps I need another compound to see substantial growth?

Was really looking forward to getting some nice gains and so far it’s been the complete opposite so any help or advise would be appreciated.

Just to add, I also upped adex to 0.5mg eod when I upped my test.

Thanks


#2

I recently posted about the fact that I prefer to run low 200mg test over higher amounts due to feeling better and against all odds actually looking better. When I up my dose I look bloated and and it doesn’t do a whole lot for sex drive other than an initial jolt which soon subsides.

The obvious culprit would be E2, but like you I have upped the adex and have come to the conclusion that I’m better off staying on 200ish mg of test and throwing in a DHT derivative for a short run if there’s reason to boost things a little bit…

Where does the 250mg of sustanon put you with your blood work?


#3

I could be wrong but my guess is that it’s all in your head

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around how you can make decisions so quickly

I wasn’t aware you could determine the effectiveness of Test E after only 3 weeks or how after only 2 days of injecting your Sust that you miraculously started to feel better again

Also, I’m on TRT as well. 250mg/week is higher than I’ve heard anyone being prescribed


#4

@Chalk my last blood test came back at 33 which is quite high considering the range is 10-30 but 1 ampoule per week is convenient and if I’m honest I just kind of figured the more the better which may be ignorant of me.

Given the increase in libido I hear so many speak of when on cycle, it just doesn’t seem to add up that more wouldn’t improve libido?

@ToolManSam I have been thinking that it may all be in my head but then also thought that if the Test E is fake, 4 weeks after having my last REAL injection of test would fall in with all the test clearing my body?
Could my changes in mood be down to switching between the different types / brands of test? Had been pretty stable before attempting this cycle.


#5

You know what? I’m misleading you and I apologize.

3 weeks “would” be enough to sense changes. I would think your E2 spiked but I am confused how it would drop so suddenly. A few days is not enough to get back to 100%. People struggle to manage E2


#6

@Chalk what kind of gains do you see simply from sticking with 200mg a week and adding a dht derivative? I assume Anavar or Masteron? At what dosage?

@ToolManSam it quite likely is my e2 playing up but is it normal to go 6 weeks on 500mg test and still not be seeing benefits of it?

One point I should add is that I have only started using HCG at 500iu every 3 days since starting this cycle as I previously had no access to it. Could this be causing more fluctuations in my e2? Am thinking that the timing of the HCG injection against the timing of the T injection may be causing an issue as they’re not always at the same time each week I. E. One day I may inject both HCG and Test on a Sunday where as other weeks it will work out at Test on the Sunday and HCG Tuesday.


#7

The choice of DHT and dosage would be up to yourself - play around with them to see what you like. I might throw in a bit of winstrol on top of my TRT and that’s it, but it isn’t a common occurrence. If I were to do it more frequently I would use Mast due to toxicity and cholesterol issues with Winstrol.

I think often too much emphasis is placed on drugs. To get the most out of any drug everything else has to be on point, or the drug will be simply be partly correcting mistakes in diet and training. What’s the bet that the vast majority of users doing their initial couple of 500mg cycles don’t know their body yet? You see them in the gym all the time - bloated with pimples and not a whole lot of muscle - I’m not bagging anyone here, it’s just the way it is.

I once read a post on a forum written by a veteran advising a newcomer that went along the lines of “If you aren’t making improvements on 250mgs per week there’s something wrong with your training or diet” and after much experimentation I completely agree with that.

Dosage, diet and training will ultimately depend on your own body’s response, and the type of look you’re going for. I could be way off base here but I have a sneaking suspicion that heavy set guys can probably do better on low test, or better put should avoid obscenely high test dosages due to aromatization potential. I’ve got nothing to back that up other than repeated observation though.


#8

I know that results will vary person to person but just curious, what changes / gains do you see from adding Winstrol in on your TRT dose?

I know that you get what you put in and if diet and training aren’t right, you won’t get the best results but there are studies showing significant (10 to 15lbs) muscle gain in sedentary people who inject 600mg test a week over 20 weeks. These are people that are paying no attention to diet and training.

Before I had any hormone issues, I had gotten into pretty good shape completely drug free. Benched 150kg in competition and got lean enough to see the veins sticking out my Abs so it’s not like I’ve just jumped into training and headed straight for the gear.

During my first cycle, I’ve been running the same program I used years ago which took me from benching 120kg to 150kg yet have gained only 1 or 2 reps to working sets on bench press.

I’ve gained around 4kg since starting the cycle which must mean I’m eating enough but unfortunately it seems the majority of the weight gain must simply be water and fat.

Besides possibly water gain, I’ve had no high test sides, no increased libido, no acne and negligible muscle gain.
All of this really makes me think that there’s something else that’s not right with other hormone levels. SHBG binding to my test? Prolactin?

I just received blood test results for blood drawn on this cycle and levels came back at;

Testosterone = 59mmol (Range is 10 to 20)

Serum Oestradiol = 129 (No lab range for this but I know this is slightly too high)

Prolactin = 346 mIU/L (Range 56 to 278) This has previously measured at 299 when on my standard TRT dose. My pituitary gland has shown as bulky on MRI scans but has stayed consistent over the past 2 years so have been told there’s no reason to worry but have also seen that excess prolactin can limit muscle growth and reduce libido.

Tests included numerous other results which I can post if someone thinks it will help. Tests were supposed to include SHBG but for some reason results didn’t come through so I need to chase up.

Anyone have blood test results whilst on a similar cycle to compare against mine? Is the range for natural test production in line with expectations for being on a 500mg a week cycle?

Any more feedback would really be appreciated on this, particularly by some of the highly knowledgeable guys on here like @KSman


#9

Adding winstrol cleans things up, it’s a drier look… adding winstrol with a small amount of red meat each day really equates to a much drier look for me personally. If i over do the red meat everything turns to shit though for some reason. I want to stress that Winstrol doesn’t make an appearance until summer and only for brief bursts at low moderate doses.

Your Testosterone levels are high enough to look good - assuming your BF is decent. You would benefit from using an AI. I’m not sure about the ranges but yours have come back eerily close to mine at one point and E2 was high. The complaint with water retention is something that bothers me also, which is why I run test at lower levels and use .5mg Adex EOD which puts things in place for me. You can get away with holding a bit of water at a younger age but it seems the older I get the worse it looks so…

I’m not in a position to comment on the prolactin (sorry!) I haven’t had any experience with high levels, but I’m guessing others might suggest caber etc. Are you taking any SSRI medication for depression etc? They can have an effect

I hope someone else more knowledgeable than myself can add to this for you

cheers


#10

Thanks again @Chalk so do you not find that adding winstrol does anything for strength / size gains, just helps you harden up?

When you say Test levels are high enough to look good, would you say they’re in line with what should be expected from running 500mg test a week? Obviously there’s test in there but am wondering if it’s underdosed considering I’m used to high quality sust straight from the pharmacy?

Honestly, I’m not 100% it us water gain, am just hoping so as if not, it seems it must only be fat. Before I started the cycle I could see all Abs, now I can just about make out 4 (in good lighting).
Am on 0.5mg Adex End on this cycle but obviously it’s not quite enough. What difference do you notice since getting your E2 in check compared to when it was at the levels mine is?


#11

Winstrol, in my opinion is like magic. It grows muscle tissue without aromatization, lowers SHBG and adds strength more so than many others. It also dries me out in a big way, with the effect taking place the same day as first taking it (for me). I remember talking to Sonny Schmidt about how it seemed to be a cure all and his response was that everyone’s ‘blood is different’ and that he’d seen similar things in other people, but that he wasn’t that big on it himself. The old school vet Winstrol actually blew me up adding significant scale weight while cutting with no other compounds used. The Winny I have access to today from a compounding pharmacy simply dries me out and gives my joints hell with some noticeable strength gains. For some reason the old stuff was much better in every way.

The cosmetic effects of Winstrol would be welcomed by anyone regardless of their goal. Who wouldn’t take a bit of extra dry muscle and strength without the tag along water? The problem is that it is liver toxic. I’d use it year round if it wasn’t.

Your test levels could well be correct for 500mg. Everyone is different, some guys need a ton to get into high ranges but it seems most don’t. It’s very individual.

You might be holding water, fat, or both. Water can be a sneaky bitch… what’s your diet like in general? I generally stick to Keto year round, and when I fall off the wagon there is a rebound effect that’s pretty significant. I’ve sworn I’ve added 5kg of fat, but within 4 days on keto it disappears, so it has to be water since such an appreciable amount of bodyfat wouldn’t shift that quickly. It sure looks like body fat though.

Maybe go zero carb for a week and see how you go - if it’s water you’ll soon know, and if it’s fat you will be on the way to losing it = )


#12

Does sound a bit of a wonder drug and I’m thinking that high SHBG could be my problem so this could help significantly. Have you ever had liver values before and after with a comparison to see how long it took to recover from the winstrol?

I recently saw a thread where someone had reduced weekly test and added in tren at 50mg per week as a TRT protocol with great results. Had managed to control all blood values by the looks of it too which is interesting.

So it may be that I’m an under responder and could need 1000mg per week to get the same results as someone else taking 500mg?

Macros vary from day to day but generally around 500 carbs 100 Fats 270 protein. I eat a tonne of veggies, probably too many really. Try to limit carbs to just veggies on days I’m not training as I find I do get bloated consuming high carbs on off days.

So you’re suggesting replacing all Carb calories with fat and protein but keeping total intake the same?

Would really appreciate it if someone else could also chime in on any thoughts re my failure to grow on cycle. I feel this is not just an issue with cycling but potentially an issue with my overall health / TRT treatment too which the cycle has highlighted.


#13

Some gear is known to increase prolactin, I do not memorize those.

0.5mg Dostinex/cabergoline will reduce prolactin and shrink your pituitary to a more normal state. Prolactin also makes you more prone to gyno or makes it worse. Cabergoline is available as a research chem if you need to go down that route. When doing prolactin labs, avoid orgasms or hugging babies, puppies or kittens as this releases prolactin. If the pituitary continues to enlarge, it can press on the optic nerves. The first sign of damage is a reduction in width of peripheral vision that should be ~180 degrees. Prolactin is HPTA repressive, reducing T with expected impact on muscles, energy, mood and libido.

Based on those labs and Adex 0.5mg EOD, increase Adex by a factor of 129/80 or 60%. When you change your TRT/gear, E2 will change and AI dose will need refinement. You should feel better near E2=80pmol/L, better mood, better libido, more energy and fat patterns should be better with more loss/refinement around belly.


#14

Your protein and fat intake look perfect IMO - protein might be a tad high, but both of those macros are in line with what Dave Palumbo has his clients on. Some people seem to have a negative view on Dave’s advice for some reason, but he brings guys into shows peeled to the bone and he seems to have a knack for finding the sweet spot between size and cuts.

For what it’s worth he says that offseason carb intake for his guys who don’t want to spill over tends to be around the 200g mark. Bare in mind this qty is for competitors busting their asses to grow - and your carb intake is well over double that. I could be wrong, but I suspect we may have found the cause of the blurring of the abs

I’ve never experimented dosing Winstrol with liver values because it’s a no go zone for the long term. Winstrol also destroys our cholesterol profiles, even at super low doses… Why is it that all the fun stuff in life seems to want to kill us?

I wouldn’t consider throwing tren into a TRT protocol until I see a couple of thousand people do it and live a long healthy life - especially when there are other options available to us. Masteron plus test at low doses seems to be effective for people who want to get a bit adventurous. If I had access to quality Mast I’d give it a go… I believe the recommendation from the person who advocated the combo was 100mg of each pw, but of course it’s going to vary with peoples blood levels accordingly. I’m not advising anyone do this combo, but it sounds like a better idea than throwing tren into your daily life for the foreseeable future = )


#15

@KSman thanks for adding to the thread.

Apparently both Deca and Tren can cause Prolactin levels to rise. I have never done either.

I have an appointment with a doctor in a few days time so will ask about having Dostinex added to my prescription. If the doctors don’t play along or have a decent alternative strategy, I’ll get some myself.
Do you feel that simply lowering Prolactin could have solved my issues with testosterone production and possibly even Thyroid issues I’ve been having for so long now?

When you say that high prolactin is expected to cause issues with libido, muscle gain etc, is that simply due to the reduction of naturally produced testosterone in the body or is there another factor entirely?
Obviously I’m injecting T now so if the lack of libido / muscle size is only in correlation with low T, in theory I should be OK now I’m injecting.

What are your thoughts on potential high SHBG and using Masteron as an addition to my TRT protocol?

Will increase Adex to 0.8 per day as long as I can manage to split it. Hopefully I’ll notice some good changes from that.

@Chalk 200 grams of carbs per day in the off season? That seems really low. Pretty sure I could easily get that without even touching any plain carbs (rice, potato, pasta, oats) If they are on such low carbs surely they’re not on the same fats and protein as I am per day otherwise they’d be starving.

The high carbs could be a factor for me but I’ve decided to cut my total calories right back anyway so should see my Abs start to clear up a bit. Should probably note the fat / water gain isn’t only on my Abs, seems to be holding pretty much all over my body.

Haha not fair is it! I guess the body just likes to stay away from extremes through.
Agree, given the possible side effects of Tren compared to Masteron, I wouldn’t fancy adding that in until there’s some decent research behind it. Also, the fact that Tren increases Prolactin, probably wouldn’t help my case anyway.

Have managed to get hold of some Masteron so will most likely add it in the next couple of weeks to see if I see any benefit from it. Don’t want to make too many changes at the same time though I. E. Increasing Adex, adding Caber, adding Mast, as I won’t know which ones having what effect on me.


#16

I’ve had a follow up appointment with my local GP (not my endocrine consultant) ago has told me that although out of range, my serum Prolactin level should cause no issue as he has had patients in the thousands.

To me, any level that is out of range should be addressed but am curious to know your thoughts on whether my reading of 346 is cause for concern and whether its likely that it would lead to any noticeable effect on my body?

Thanks


#17

Anyone?

Would really like to know your thoughts on whether my Prolactin could be causing me such issues?

Thanks


#18

Hi, I’m no expert but couldn’t help but chime in.

500mg of Testosterone per week, regardless of ester, should put your testosterone levels MUCH higher than 59nmol. You should be around the 100 mark or higher at that dose. Your testosterone is way underdosed if you’re using that underground enanthate. Stick to your pharma sustanon at 250mg per week and dial yourself in by experimenting with your E2 levels. If you don’t feel good on 250mg per week 500mg won’t help. I’m on 250mg per week and my testosterone level is 58.1nmol/L. I self administer underground enanthate. 125 mg Monday and Thursday.

You probably felt so bad because you had underdosed Testosterone, probably 250mg, and overshot your Estrogen by upping your Arimidex dosage to EOD. I don’t believe the ‘sweet spot’ for E2 is 20-30pg/ml anymore at all after speaking to some knowledgeable people who have been on TRT for 15+ years. You need to go by how you feel and not strive to get into that range for the sake of it. Try it and see how you go but I doubt it now. You need a good amount of Estradiol for sexual function and well being. Too much A.I can mess that up.

As far your prolactin goes, it can cause lots of issues from what I’ve researched. Dylan Gemelli puts up YouTube videos and stated that high prolactin was the worst experience as a man he’d ever felt. Get a second opinion on that one. Perhaps watch his video on prolactin. It might help you.

If I were you I’d research optimal prolactin ranges first. But by all means use Caber and get it in range if you’re not feeling better in 3-4 weeks. It’s one thing to cross off the list.

Perhaps back off on the Arimidex dosage and go to 250mg sustanon per week.


#19

@raune28 thanks for the input. I did think that 59nmol seemed too low considering the dose I was taking but then my e2 levels did come back high so maybe I’m just really sensitive to e2 sides. I know it’s likely that people will vary in the e2 levels that make them feel best but would still say mine was too high.

Have now cut back to 250mg test a week so should soon start seeing what changes that brings.

Have watched a few of Dylan’s videos on prolactin and looked around online for optimum levels but am yet to find anything very useful. Will keep looking but let me know if anyone has any good info on this.

Still waiting to hear back from my endo so hopefully he’ll come back with something more informative.
In the meantime I’m planning to try high dose vitamin b6 which has been shown to reduce prolactin. If I notice improvement in 4 weeks, I can be quite sure prolactin is causing me an issue.