T Nation

If I'm on TRT, Am I Natty from a Lifting Perspective?

I’ve been on TRT for about 6 months now as I had stupid low testosterone and I’ve always wondered am natty or not from a lifting perspective?
I think I’m right in saying that if your levels from TRT are in the natural range then surely you have no advantage over lifters who arent on anything?
Also I’m pretty sure when lifters ask whether you’re natty or not they dont actually care whether you’re on something unless it gives you an advantage over them.

Hopefully this type of post is allowed here.

I would say that if your Free T on a blood test doesn’t come back at supraphysiological levels, then you can say that you’re natty. This would not apply in the context of any “professional” sport though.

If pre TRT you had to be given a handicap (as in golf handicap) as a result of the low T, then getting your levels to normal shouldn’t count as a penalty imo.

According to redit and other places online you would not be considered natty.

I’d say no.

I get your perspective, but natty means no outside help.

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Question concerning this logic…

What about a diabetic who can’t lift at all unless he takes his insulin because of the exercise induced glucose spikes in his blood? If he takes his insulin is he now considered enhanced?

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For me, natural is zero outside help and playing with the cards you’ve been dealt.

This is a very subjective question, many folks will have varying opinions. My .02, if you’re taking prescribed meds to get to normal levels, you’re natural.

If you needed the meds, you may feel differently.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what others think, it matters what you think. The only time you’ll ever need to actually classify yourself as natural is if you’re competing in a strictly natural federation, in which case you’ll need to look at their regulations. For example, INBF/WNBF won’t let you compete if you’re on TRT, doctor prescribed hormone therapy, etc., but ANBF will.


I am on TRT and my wife was diabetic at one point…

Obviously a very contentious topic. My view is TRT = not Natty, but its a pretty tough call.

I get the perspective that taking TRT and maintaining normal levels could be considered ‘natural’ but I think in the end we all get dealt different hands and have to play them as they come.

Im 5"10, I don’t get to use a trampoline to dunk because im a foot shorter than the other guys, I don’t get to use a longer racket to match Roddick’s serve strike elevation. Obviously being a bit facetious but I hope you get my example.

Say my T level is a little low, but still entirely normal, do I then get to titrate up a TRT dose to put me at the very top of the ‘normal range’?

I guess the big question is from which perspective you are asking the question. If you get good physique results from a couple hours in the gym and someone asks ‘are you natty’? I’d say yes, you’d be fine to call yourself ‘natural’. Do I think sports should allow TUE’s for TRT? Nope, because then we just have everyone juicing up to the top of the ‘natural’ range.

I say this as someone who will imminently be on TRT.


Everyone will have an opinion on this topic. Most of Those in TRT would understand why they think replacement therapy is natural. But then again natural for me is very low… that’s why I’m here… because my natural system is so fuggggedup…

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What if someone has a pituitary tumor that makes them hypogonadism or testicular injury or removal? Is that similar to height being dealt?


My answer would be, “I dont take anything illegal”


I guess I never really thought about it bec I mean who really cares, at least I don’t. and besides, getting to the gym everyday w/in the context of having a fulltime job and a semblance of a life (i.e. shit to do that never seems to stop!), following multiple diets depending on your goals, food shopping/prepping, foregoing certain things to stay on track, etc… natty or not those are the freaking hard parts. sure I stick shit in my ass but that’s the easy part. I wish that’s all it took.

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Insulin is not a banned substance.

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From WNBF:

Pro-Hormones, Precursors and Metabolites, Derivatives, and Related Compounds

  • 5-Et ioallocholen-3b,7b,17b-triol and/or substances similar in structure – January 1, 2019 these substances shall carry a two (2) year ban time frame.
  • Any hormone, including insulin, (injectable, oral, sublingual or otherwise) used for bodybuilding purposes
  • Designer and Pro Steroids are Banned and Carry a 10 Year Ban Time-frame

If you are competing in weightlifting, which is governed by the International Weightlifting Federation, which is under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee, then WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) decides. In the US, we have USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) handle drug testing. USADA is approved by WADA.

Testosterone is a banned substance. As far as I know, there are no therapeutic exemptions for testosterone.

As for powerlifting, I know some federations use USADA, not sure about all.

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I thought we were talking about in general. As a matter of fact, I think I qualified that in my original post post by saying,

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Right, bodybuilding, makes sense there. I was speaking in regard to the lifting sports.

Back in my day, guys experimented with this. They took some, but not so much it would rise above high normal levels, until drug testing improved and exogenous test could be detected.

What if I told you, some guys on TRT can have Test in the 500s while some guys who don’t use anything can have Test in the 700s. Are those, like, extra-bonus-natties who have an advantage over Team Injectable?

The entire concept of “natty or not” is 100% mental masturbation (no pun intended). If you compete in a sport, the guidelines should be pretty clear regarding TRT. If you’re a recreational lifter, then call yourself whatever you can wrap your head around.

If you’re thinking in terms of training plans “designed for” natural vs enhanced lifters, it’s really not as big a deal as many people think. A well-designed program that delivers results is a well-designed program that delivers results, the labels are primarily for attention.