T Nation

Futile Efforts?


I have recently found that I have almost no testosterone due because my body is not responding to the hormones to produce it. If anyone wants numbers it is 59ng/dl with a range of 240-950.

Couple other stats im 6' 170lbs and 22. I eat 3500-3700 calories everyday macros are 40/40/20 carb/protein/fat. I do 3 TBT workouts a week and 2 complexes on two off days and have 1 day completely off.

I am asking everyones opinion.... How much will this hamper my ability to gain muscle mass? Is there anythings special I can do to maximize muscle gain while still having almost no testosterone?

My strength has been going up slowly but consistently every week but with little noticable muscle mass. I have been increaseing my weights every week for 16 weeks straight now. Of course they were not huge to start with. Also I just started TRT but its a small dose because the doctor does not want to schock my system.

Thoughts and opinions/advice are welcome.


Check out the T Replacement forum, much help to be found there.


I have but the discussions are on what to do for it. Which I have met with a doctor and starting TRT but very low dose and slow. So I was just looking for input from a muscle gain perspective instead of advice on TRT. Im not sure if I wrote that clear. I am a very bad writer.


No one can answer your question. What are you looking for, an answer like "Your ability to gain muscle mass will be hampered by %34.95894903"?

If you're on TRT then your body has testosterone, it's just exogenous. And did the doc tell you he didn't want to "shock your system"? Perhaps you should be looking for a new doc, there are well-established protocols for TRT.

Congrats on making the gains you have.

<---------- Not an MD

BTW, is your doc looking at why you're suffering from hypogonadism, or just putting you on TRT?


Yeah we checked everythign out for 2 or 3 months before we jumped into TRT. Couldnt find anything with the many labs and MRI.

I knew know one could give me exact numbers. I was just looking for some speculation or personel experiences.

Edit: Missed the other question. No he did not use those exact words. That is me paraphrasing and that was the point he was trying to ge across.


I still think it would be helpful if you posted your labs in the TRT forum, some of the guys over there are amazingly knowledgable. You seem young, if you're suffering from hypogonadism and your doc couldn't find anything, then he's not looking hard enough.

My 2 cents...


I did post labs. They actually said that it is fairly common at least on this site to see my age group with hypogonadism. They have been quite helpful with the TRT side of things.


I have similar T levels to yours (I didn't see your whole lab tabs) and it is still really possible to make decent progress. My first year of training was crap, strength and mass gains were REALLY below average. But I didn't gave up and fought forward, eventually I reach acceptable level and still progressing. No doc wants to grant me a TRT (damn old school purist doctors) but that doesn't stop me from progressing.

Yeah for sure you may have trouble to keep gain constant or to remain somewhat leanish during mass gains. When you will cut you will need extra time if you don't want to scrap all your gains. When stressful time comes, it may have a greater impact than others on your training, but if you remain consistent and motivated you will progress.

Also, TBT isn't really optimal for most trainees when it comes to muscle gains, recovery and strength gains. I would look at this thread to give you an idea on basic simple bodybuilding splits : http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding/professor_x_a_request

Good luck, don't give up and you will reach your goals.


Thank you StompingHorse. Its good to know Im not the only one out there. I am enjoying the strength gains just wished the muscle was a bit higher. I was to get strength up mostly so that when I switched to a BB split i could actually move some weight and make some good progress.

I never plan on stopping my training. I love lifting weights. And I want to start doing BB more seriously. I love going in and beating what I did last week and coming out sweating and breathing hard for the next couple of hours.

Thank you again for your sharing your experience.


As StompingHorse stated above, a TBT program may not be the best choice. It may be that your program is holding you back more than your low T.


Ok sounds good. So I will put some numbers out. And they are low at least in my eyes and I was trying to gain stregth first.

Bench 6*200
Squat 7*215
Deadlift 6*250
Pull up 6*30+bw
1 arm row 6*70
Military press 6*135

Most of those should go up 5lbs next week or at least 1-2 more reps.
The reason i post these is, even with how weak these numbers are will I still be able to benefit from a split program? Even though I would not be moving very much weight?


Well i cant see my last post otherwise i would edit it. I just thought that was the biggest draw back for beginners doing a split program. They cant move enough weight to create enough damage to warrent the longer recovery time and therefore regress.
I have been lifting for a 5 years. But only very seriously for 8months.


Splitting muscles parts is the best way, beginner or not, to gain strength.

I will try to make it simple.

For example you could :

Front Squat
Work up to a 3-12 heavy ass set. (Could look like 45x20 135x6 185x6 225x6 275x6 315x9PR get it ? not too much volume but a bust ass set where you MUST beat a PR)

Leg Press
More volume but still go quite heavy. (Ex. 3ppsx12 4ppsx12 5ppsx12 6ppsx12 7ppsx12 9ppsx12PR More volume overall, last set was not failure but still quite heavy.)

Leg Extension
Light More volume focus really on contraction. 3-4 sets of 12+ reps no failure for sure.

Bench Press
Work up to a 3-12 heavy set.

Incline Dumbells Press
More Volume

Pec Deck
Blood in

BB Curls

DB's Curls
more volume

Reverse Curls
Blood in


Good morning/Deadlift/SLDL Choose a main glute/ham lift.

More Volume

Leg Curls
Feel the pump

Lateral raises

Military Press
More volume

Face Pulls or reverse Pec Deck
More Volume

Machine Lateral raises (you can't have too large lateral delt, that's impossible)

BB Rows or T-Bar Rows

Vertical Pulls (any)
More Volume

Cable or DB's rows

Skullcrushers or JM Presses

More Volume

Rope Pressdown

Get stronger and stronger, eat more and more and progress.

You could also move triceps from sun to wed with bi's and back from sun to tue with chest. If you want sun off to be 100% fresh for quads. You could also add direct traps and calves work.

Start with this and make adjustment as you progress and see if there's weakness. You could for example if your back is lacking add a second back training per week, etc.

If you feel 100% recovered and feel like you can handle more, go for it you can add another exercises per bodypart. Train and see.

The Split I made above is just an example, go with your needs. Ask the big guys here, progress and make us proud.

As far as diet goes, go simple. 2g per lbs of proteins, liquid carbs/protein post-workout, carbs+prot in the first 2 meals and the rest fats+prot. Send a PM to MightyStu if you really need help about it. At 6'0 170 pounds you really need some steak.

Keep us post, maybe open up a training log or send H4M a PM so he can make you enter the Brotherhood of Iron group.


Thank you for the advice on the split. I will be switching to a split. So on the above program. Each time i repeat a workout I would be looking to PR reps or weight? Increase the reps each week to a point then up weight?

I do need some size. I used to be 190 before I hit college. Had a brutal period of undereating to much cardio and 6 days a week of lifting that destroyed everything I had. Looking to get it all back and then some.


For your main lift, I would up the weight over reps any day. For example

Front Squat week 1
Top set 315x9



take it easy, 315x5

Then when you repeat your "cycle" You want to keep your rep similar each week but have bumped the weight so

320/330 x7-9

340/345 x6-7

360/365 x3-5

Week 4
take it easy

For sure, don't ever ever limit yourself. If you know you can bump 20 pounds and keep the reps, go for it. And if you fail to keep the rep, you use the same weight next months and go get these reps.

For the more volume lifts, just go by feeling and don't stress yourself with big PRs like with your main lift. Just build up slowly but surely weight and reps without killing yourself and without messing around ! Even tough for example leg press isn't considered "hardcore" by the cool kid that doesn't mean you must not give your 100% to do well on it.


Ok sounds good. I like being able to know what I am beating. I love beating the log book. But if I were trying to PRing everything every week that would be nuts. I would love to be able to do that though.


You will be able to if your diet is in check along with sleep and stress management. Motivation and drive trumps many things.

Make a log in :


Post your training and questions along with how energy levels and recovery are and I will come frequently to try and answer your interrogation.