Low Test But Still Seeing Results... How?

Hi! I have been reading through this forum and a few others ever since I received my lab results…a week ago.

I am a 38 year old male… I have been lifting weights since I was 17. The only supplements that I have taken were the usual…Creatine, NO, various pre-workouts, and of course protein. That said, I am about 6’3 and 300lbs. Recently, I have been unable to lose the extra around my mid section. I try to follow a low GI type of diet which has always worked well for me. Over the years, I have made pretty good gains in muscle size and strength.

Fast forward to two weeks ago. I hit a personal record on bench (495lbs close to my goal of 500lbs for the year). Other than being extremely tired after I get off of work (desk job for the most part), I have felt pretty good. Two days after my personal record bench, I had a physical. Like a lot of guys, I don’t make a habit of getting one of those done, but insurance was going to give me $200 if I did…sooo… lol During the physical I asked if they could check my test level as I was curious. After filling out the questionnaire for insurance purposes, I went down for the blood work.

One week ago I received the results of all blood work. Everything was great (thank God)…well, everything except for the test levels.
TESTOS TOTAL: 183 (241-827 ng/dL)
FREE TESTO CALC : 45.91 (48.13-169.45 pg/mL)
SHBG: 19.1 (17.3-65.8 nmol/L)
GLU: 98 (74 - 106 mg/dL)
CREAT: 1.04 (0.720 - 1.20 mg/dL)
TSH: 1.1512 (0.350 - 4.940)

What the heck?! How can I be making great gains in strength and muscle size with such low levels?

The Dr, of course, prescribed TRT for me. I have a 100mg Test Cyp, but haven’t injected anything yet. As most others, I have been trying to research everything as much as possible before I inject anything.

Please let me know your thoughts…suggestions. Thanks!!!


At a minimum, you need E2, prolactin and am cortisol before injecting anything!

Do you have an AI on hand to control your E2? I guarantee a guy your size will have issues with estrogen.

Do you have hcg on hand? Want any more kids? Care about the size of your balls?

Don’t do anything until you get those labs and answer those questions!

Thanks for the reply! It figures that my Dr didn’t do all of the necessary tests. They also didn’t prescribe an AI. I wasn’t sure if the no-script for AI was normal for a starting dose of Test Cyp.

More kids…no, but it would be nice if the boys stayed in tact. No HCG though…another script I am guessing.

Yes both the AI and hcg are prescription meds. 90+% of guys on TRT need an AI to keep E2 levels optimal. E2 will make or break your TRT outcome. Hcg prevents your boys from shriveling. It also provides a sense of well being for some guys. At your age and size, I feel like an AI is essential. Get those tests and post them when you get the results.

I just got the results back from the Cortisol, Prolactin, and Estradiol…

ESTRADIOL: 26.03 (7.02-49.06 pg/mL)
PROLACTIN 13.5 (4.0-15.2 ng/mL)
CORTISOL: 18.9 (5.0-25.0 ug/dL)

Those are your numbers before TRT…correct?

Those are my numbers after one injection of 100mg Cyp…6 days later.

Okay so can’t determine much. The E2 is good. Do you happen to know which lab and whether it was a sensitive test? Anyway, one shot of T will not raise E2, so you need to stick to a protocol and draw blood again in about 4-6 weeks. Are you self injecting? If so, you’ll want to inject twice weekly and draw labs halfway between injections. If you are not self injecting, then labs will be a function of timing and it will be more complicated to get dialed in.

Please read these stickies found here: About the T Replacement Category - #2 by KSman

  • advice for new guys
  • things that damage your hormones
  • protocol for injections
  • finding a TRT doc

prolactin is getting interesting, but can be elevate for a day or two after sex or cuddling puppies, babies and kittens

Pre TRT should have tested LH/FSH to find out if problem is your testes or pituitary.
Cannot do now, missed that boat.

Please self-inject T twice a week and always do labs halfway between injections to minimized lab timing artifacts.

TSH was nice, but often not the whole picture. Your fat levels are driven by T levels, E2 levels and strongly by thyroid function. If you have always used iodized salt, that eliminates a lot of potential thyroid issues.

For your body weight, 100mg T cyp per week seems too little. You need TT near 900-1200 with high FT levels. [I am thinking 160-180mg scaled to a reference 160# reference weight.]

Given your strength, when you add T to the mix, your muscle strength may improve rapidly. However, your connective tissues may be less than great from your low T. Connective tissue strengthens very slowly. So there is a danger of tearing connective tissue that heals very slowly and may require surgery. So please use some caution. Even if you do not increase your weights, simply throwing more effort against the iron increases loads and risk of injury.

Pre TRT:
were your testes seeming any smaller or not hanging fully
was mood good
lots of energy
nocturnal and morning wood
sexual performance OK
libido good
great looking girls are objects of art or objects of lust

  • I am trying to understand your “seeing results”

When things are contradictory, you cannot rule out lab errors.

Not sure whether it was a sensitive test or not. That said, I just noticed that most of the latest tests show “Non-fasting” when I did fact. Idiots at the lab apparently didn’t mark that down correctly when I told them. I am not very familiar with lab tests though so maybe it doesn’t matter at much with the last three tests I had done.

I am self-injecting so I will definitely start doing 50mg twice a week VS 100 all at once. Thanks for the tip on that.

No need to fast for most continued testosterone therapy labs. Fasting is important for glucose and cholesterol.

Thanks for the stickies. I have been using them quite a bit. Especially in the beginning when I was trying to figure out what the heck was going on.

I went back through all of the lab work and do not see anything referencing LH/FSH so I am guessing they didn’t test that.

I will start the twice a week injections to keep things more stable / constant.

I am new to TRT, (obviously), but I guess the Dr will re-evaluate the dosage after my next lab is done. That appointment isn’t scheduled until the middle of December though… I am contemplating just switching over to a Dr. specialized in Low-T…if I didn’t think my insurance would freak out.

Thanks for the tips on lifting heavy weights…I will definitely be more aware when lifting.

No changes that I could tell on size.

My temper was getting a little short ( I just chalked it up to my oldest going into full on puberty and trying to do his own thing ha ha ha)

Definitely a loss of energy…completely exhausted after I got off work (desk job so no excuse)

Nocturnal/Morning wood…not so much. That did come right back after the first injection.

Sexual performance was decent. It is even better now though…again, after only one injection.

Libido was and is always through the roof.

The seeing results that I was referring to was more in the gym than anything else. My strength was increasing and I had no indication that anything like low test could have been an issue. Again, no real problems in bed either. Definitely exhausted for no reason though.

Thanks for the heads up on fasting / non-fasting. I was getting ready to call the lab.

As for the Dr wanting to re-test my test levels at the middle of December…is that standard protocol on time between tests?

3 months to labs is sort of standard, but I think that it should be sooner in many cases driven by adverse symptoms.

No energy: Guess why I was asking about iodize salt. Please read my post above.