T Nation

Is My Goal Achievable?

Hi Guys,

I am trying to understand what someone’s physique should look like if they are on TRT and are at the high end of the normal range and they train hard regularly and eat well.

I know genetics plays a big part, but I am trying to get a sound understanding as I train very hard and my physique really seems lacking, despite my T levels being “normal”.

I do BJJ 4 times a week and lift hard 3 days a week (compound movements). I have been lifting seriously for 5 years, but 2 of them were cutting weight.

I am trying to understand if my dream physique is achievable on just TRT or not.

I am currently:
38 years old
21% BF

My goal is 215lbs at around 12%bf. Is this type of physique achievable when being at the high end of normal on TRT?

I appreciate the help and guidance.

I would say yes, there is a flattering light effect on the pictures 3 and 4.

Number 1 and number 3 I don’t think you can achieve with your current level. They ara big and lean

Also these guys usually earn their life with bodybuilding or sports

That makes whole a lot difference

Let’s remember the purpose of TRT shall we? TRT is intended to correct low testosterone in people (men) who have low testosterone. So the answer to your question is that if you are on Dr. prescribed TRT then your physique will look just like a ‘normal’ person (normal being defined in this case as someone without low T…a ‘natty’ so to speak). Now I fully understand that many folks (yours truly included) work with their doctors when possible to aim for the ‘high’ end of the normal range so perhaps you might have a slight edge over someone not on TRT when it comes to muscle building and recovery.

So in reality another way of phrasing your question might have been “Is my dream physique achievable naturally?” My answer to that would be much like you already suspected in that it’s largely dependant on your genetics and willingness to train and diet. Most people simply are not willing to do what it takes in the gym to realize their goals.
So I ask…How badly do you want it?

Thank you for posting Yubs.

I guess I already feel I put in the time and effort.

I am training hard 7 times a week (3 days lifting and 4 days doing BJJ) and weigh my good and ensure a nutrient rich diet with adequate protein. I am also not training on weekends to let myself recover.

I can’t help but think that if I were training like this in my 20s my body would look quite different.

This is why I am asking if being in the high end of normal, around an 80% increase in my Test level based on my bloodwork, would this likely translate to a substantial difference to my body and training? Alternatively, is going from 22.2 to 39 not going to be very different?

I don’t know what Test levels are normally achieved by someone on say 250mg of Test per week, so forgive what might be some silly questions.

You can get abnormally jacked on TRT for your age.

I’m 55 and my T runs about 650 in the trough of my TRT. So I look like a guy with high T levels, not like a 55 year old with normal 55 year old T levels.

I’m not sure this makes any sense. I have T levels that are normal for a 21 year old, so I can gain muscle and get lean like a 21 year old.

So, same as natty, but a young natty.


It’s hard to tell really what you’d look like if you were training this way back in your 20’s. I don’t have a clue as to what your training looks like now other than what you’ve shared with us. I also have no reason not to believe you either. What I CAN say fairly confidently is that you’re doing far more than most folks your age and should focus on that when you start beating yourself up about not seeing the results you expect.
I can also tell you that you most certainly would notice a difference in your body if you moved your T from 22 to 39; but again…everything takes time…years even. This is a marathon not a sprint my friend.
Keep grinding.

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Your test level is in range but it sucks. Also no Free test?

Here is my free test buddy.

This converts to a free test ng/dL of 10.5

My SHBG is quite high although in normal range.

To answer the original question: why don’t you try really hard and find out? What’s the worst that could happen?

I’ve heard people can get too big

Thank you for posting Dagill2.

Once you start TRT it is a lifelong commitment so i am trying to understand what is achievable and what isn’t.

For what reason? This is a genuine question. How will this knowledge affect your decision?

Test levels are virtually insignificant if the stimulus (weight training) isn’t there to get the response (training effect).

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I have been training hard for 5 years bud.

I am currently doing 3 days of lifting and 4 days of BJJ.

If my lack of results is likely a hormonal issue that can be resolved with TRT I will likely start TRT sooner rather than later.

You know it isn’t a hormonal issue, you said yourself your T levels are at the higher end of normal.

Are you trying to do this for BJJ or for aesthetics? I’m still laughing at the thought of Vitor Belfort just being a little bit of TRT back in the day.

I wouldn’t think looking at guys who compete at the highest level in BJJ would be a great precedent for what you can achieve on just TRT considering the IBJJF only tests some of the winners of black belt worlds and virtually nobody else.

If your BF guess is correct, you need to gain about 12 lbs of muscle, and lose around 15 of fat. Either goal would take a lot of time(especially the muscle gain) when focused on solely. Doing BJJ 4x a week and trying to gain that much meat is playing tug of war with yourself unless you are adding more than just TRT to the equation at 38 years old.

Also, not sure if you realize this, but the “before and after” you posted of Vitor is him before having to pass drug tests for fighting, and then after what he looks like when he had to clean up to be allowed to fight. USADA still allows TRT levels I believe, so the photo on the right is what is achievable on TRT while the left is on, well use your imagination.

Moral of the story, TRT is not a magic pill, trying to achieve a geared up physique without gear is like early 2000’s kids thinking Nitrotech will get them swole.

I never said I was at the higher end of normal. I thought I was on the lower side of normal with my Free T at .364 nmol/L or converted that’s 10.5 ng/dL. My SHBG is normal but high.