T Nation

How Much Testosterone to Take?


I have been on testosterone replacement therapy for six months prescribed via a private specialist in andrology. The problem is, it seems the specialist wants to boost my testosterone levels to between 15-20nmol (430-580ng/dl). My baseline testosterone levels before dropping to hypogonadal levels were shown (on more than one blood test) to be up in the 1000’s (very high). I have decided to “boost” myself up into the 1000’s, preferably between 1000-1500ng/dl, however I’m not sure how much testosterone I need to take weekly to achieve such levels. One study showed 300mg of testosterone enanthate weekly to give a nadir total testosterone level of 1300ng/dl, meaning peak levels were probably around 2000-2500ng/dl. Another study (but with HIV positive men) showed 300mg weekly to give an average nadir total testosterone level of 1076ng/dl. I would boost myself to well over 1000ng/dl, however I am very scared of the idea of left ventricular hypertrophy/heart dysfunction and thick blood as I am unable to donate. This post could have been in the TRT section, however I chose to put it in the pharma section as the testosterone use to boost my levels is without a prescription and pushing myself up to testosterone levels upwards of 1000 is hard to justify as “trt” as the goal of testosterone replacement is to restore testosterone levels to within normal ranges (300-1000), and even though my natural levels were above the normal ranges, I am still intending on pushing myself into what some may consider slightly supraphysiologic territory as it is slightly above the reference range, therefore I’d consider this to be more of a “lifelong cruise”. There are many variables as to how much testosterone it should take to get someone up to a certain level, my shbg is on the low side 20-25, so this may factor in. I am currently on sustanon every 3 weeks (terrible protocols, I know, but it’s Australia).
Conclusion: I would like a guesstimate from people who have used testosterone/ anabolic steroids as to how much testosterone I need to take to boost my levels to at or SLIGHTLY above what they were naturally (were naturally in the low 1000’s, but were down to mid- 200’s for about a year prior to TRT).


In my own experience I was able to hit >1,000 when I used 250mg instead of my usual 200. I think it clocked in at 1,107 two days post-shot (Cyp). I did that as an experiment to see what difference there was between my doc’s protocol and a higher dose cruise. I only did it for four weeks, again just because I was curious about the effects. So maybe 300mg gets you into that 1,300-1,500 range? I can personally say that there was no physical difference between regular TRT and a higher dose cruise. I didn’t feel better or worse, sex drive was the same, strength gains were mostly what I expected anyway, meaning I expected to be stronger at the end of the month than at the beginning.

If you’re thinking about going outside the bounds of your current protocol—which sounds like it’s kind of lousy due to the way TRT is practiced in Oz—then maybe you’d benefit from just running a TRT that’s structured more like the ones we have here in the states. Maybe do Test E at 100mg twice a week for a while and see how you feel?


Thanks for the response, it’s spot on with what I wanted to do. When my doc loosens the leash (stops making me get bloods every two weeks) and my appointments are further apart, I will bump up my terrible protocol and take between 200-250mg (depending on how my test is dosed per ML) weekly split up into two shots (one shot every 3.5 days). If I feel comfortable with this dose and no adverse effects occur I may bump it up to 300mg for a few weeks/months out of curiosity just to see how it feels (I’m aware 300mg is more of a “light cycle” than TRT, however I don’t see any significant risk to my health in running a dose like that in the short or long term (there is some risk, but in my opinion benefits outweigh risks), the thought of gyno honestly never bothered me as many teenagers, particularly overweight and obese teenagers have gynecomastia. I COULD run an AI, but my experience with arimidex was nothing but severe joint pain (granted I was on 1mg per day to keep growth plates from prematurely fusing… they’re fused now so eh. I’m aware TRT doses of arimidex are far lower than the doses used to treat short stature or breast cancer, but due to my negative experience with arimidex I refuse to ever take it again… I still have joint pain… the only time I ever broke a bone was while I was on arimidex… coincidence? I think not).


When you started TRT, did testosterone help you with joint pain at all?


It did not. In fact it got worse because I was getting stronger and lifting heavier than I had been up to that point. But luckily we were blessed with the magic elixir deca. Taking only 100mg/w has been like getting all new joints. Even little things like walking up the stairs—which has hurt my knee since I messed it up a second time when I was about 25–has become painless. But TRT definitely didn’t help me in that department.


Are you not worried about the possibility of long term heart dysfunction that chronic use of nandrolone may or may not cause? (not any solid evidence, but some small studies in rats have linked specifically nandrolone to heart issues such as cardiomyopathy, reduced left ventricular ejection fractions etc, granted rats aren’t humans so results should be taken with a grain of salt.)


I am, absolutely. My doctor and I decided to go with a 20 week therapy this time. If I start to feel joint pain again then he and I will talk about doing it again next year. If I can get 16 weeks (started to feel the effects by week four) of relief every year without doing any lasting damage then I’ll take that. But I definitely don’t want to overdo it and make life worse a decade from now.


The other day it was raining, and while it was raining some vials of testosterone managed to fall out of the sky and conveniently into my hands. One vial is test suspension (oil based), the other two are different esters. I’m having serious nadir issues with the sustanon (nearly two weeks post shot). 25 mgs of the test suspension somehow made its way into me and now I smell guaiacol whenever I breathe which is fine but a bit strange. Will update on how I feel tommorow, hopefully better.


Is the joint pain relief from deca a permanent thing or does it just mask joint pain while you are on? I’ve tried looking into this but can’t find a definite answer, there’s very little in medical literature for nandrolone being used for this purpose however there are a few small papers backing up the claim that it would help with joint pain, whether the effects are permanent I do not know though. Does it give a sense of wellbeing like testosterone does?


So everything I’ve read leads me to believe it’s a temporary but incremental improvement. So let’s give the relief a value of 100, and the baseline a value of 0. While on the deca you get that value, 100, for the full run. As it wears off you slide down the scale back towards your baseline. But perhaps you don’t get back to 0 because you’ve done some measure of healing (for lack of a better term), so maybe you end up at 20 or 30. Does that make sense? I’m speculating, FYI. This is my estimation of the mid-term effects based on what’s out there, scientifically. I’ve read some guys say they went right back to being in pain within a few months of treatment ending. So I don’t think we have a clear answer.

As far as mood elevation I’ll say my experience has been very positive. It makes my good moods significantly better. It makes my bad moods more manageable. I have not had this much of a sex drive in my life (which is great when your girlfriend is 400 miles away at the moment). I imagine if you took it at the usual bodybuilder dosage there would be some downsides that you’d have to control. But at a low dose, with test, and e2 properly managed, it’s been an absolute miracle for me. I’ve had to talk myself out of going out and getting more from a source that isn’t my doctor because I want this feeling all the time. Of course long term health wins that mental battle, but I can see why so many guys love it.