T Nation

Mid 40s, Hard Work = No Gains, Losing Motivation

Still self treating, I listened to the advice of some of the guys here and reduced my levels down to 200mg of test a week. Yeah, i got carried away but I fixed it. Most you guys sit around and wring your hands because some guys want to have high optimal levels and wants to feel good again and you berate him because he doesnt think his dr walks on water and that there might be a better way.

oh, and BTW, I had no negative sides from a gram a week of test. No high BP, no prostate issues, nothing. My own Dr doesn’t even know I’m on test much less at that level.

First off, great work losing 50lbs, awesome deal.

Now starting resistance training requires some planning - spending 5 minutes to read a tutorial on a particular muscle group can boost your workout effectiveness massively.

You should also consider taking whey protein, if you are not doing so already.

Nobody cares about you skippy or what you do !! Were just questioning if you are really qualified to give advice on the subject without self bias clouding your opinion.

Matter of fact im Pro TRT for guys WHO NEED IT!! As I stated above the OP wasnt complaining of any symptoms associated with Extreme low T ! Matter of fact he mentioned he had lost 50 lbs so low T didnt hamper his progress in weight loss. Matter of fact the levels he mentioned are average level for a man of his age not high but not low as hell either.

Reading between the lines… your implying he needs to go on TRT Before he even optimize what he is doing in regards to diet or exercise. Which really enforces @EyeDentist statement in allot of peoples eyes IMO

Well arent you a lucky bastard… considering the amount you where taking you should thank God. Not every one reacts the same. I have a family member who is on TRT at 1 cc a week of just Test and he has to have a Phlebotomy done every three month so he can keep his hematocrit level at proper levels. Since his red blood cell production increases on TRT.

lol, well in his defence: you will definitely feel better on a gram of test! Hard to argue with that.

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It shouldn’t take 100 mile rides to shift bodyfat - it should be obvious that the most likely cause of body comp issue here is shitty diet, or less likely but still possible shitty bloodwork (t3 etc)

Any trainer/guru worth their salt will tell you that diet plays a much larger part in how we look than training ever will - even though both are necessary.

What does a typical day of eating look like? There may be a couple of simple fixes to get things going for you.

Protein builds muscle, how much are you eating each day?

Have you experimented lowering your carb intake? Insulin sensitivity declines as we age. I’m a couple of years younger than you and have discovered that a full keto plan is the only thing I can adhere to which keeps BF low year round. This is just my experience though.

The TRT forum has been a huge resource for me personally. It wouldn’t hurt to familiarize yourself with some of the basics - you might not need trt now, but you probably will at some stage of your life. It’s good to know stuff that might come in handy IMO.

Bottom line is that you won’t need cardio if weight training and diet are dialed in assuming there are no underlying hormonal issues if your goal is to be in killer shape, you just need to do things the right way for your own body

After reading through some posts and thinking it through, it seems focusing on my diet would be the place to start. Last year I went on what I considered a strict diet aiming to eat 225-250g of protein per day thinking that’s where I needed to be. A typical day would consist of;

Breakfast- 4 egg whites, 4 turkey bacon, whole wheat toast with peanut butter = 38g protein
Snack- Greek yogurt, handful almonds = 21g protein
Lunch- Chicken breast, broccoli, brown rice = 54g protein
Snack- Protein bar or shake = 20g protein
Dinner- Chicken breast (or lean Steak/Pork), veggies, spinach salad with boiled eggs, sweet potato = 64g protein
Before bed- Casein powder shake = 24g

Daily total = 221g protein

I’d say I stuck pretty close to that diet for about 6 months with several variations all keeping it above 200g. I did use Sunday as a cheat day to eat foods I craved during the week but kept it within reason. If I wanted a burger I made it fresh with 90/10 beef, no cheese, no mayo, add avocado, lettuce, onions, and tomato on a wheat roll, thin cauliflower crust pizza with veggies, whole wheat pasta with sauce and ground turkey, turkey chili, skinless buffalo chicken drums on the grille, etc… I still made dinners that would appeal to the family but with much less fat and maximum protein content.

As far as the bike goes, I now realized that it may have been counter productive to my weight training if size is what I’m after but I just really enjoy getting out there and riding. I plan to go for more of an all out short distance effort as opposed to a long light resistance ride and only one day a week. It seems the combination of weights, riding, kids, and job were really taxing my central nervous system so I took last week off completely to rest and feel I’m ready to give it another go.

One area I’m needing help with is making sure I’m eating the right fats, my train of thought was that all fats are bad so I avoided them like the plague other than nuts and avocado’s. Being on the diet I listed above I always felt tired, my skin seemed to dry up and get wrinkly, almost a sunken face look which people noticed but my gut seemed to keep growing no matter what.

One other thing to note is supplementation, I don’t take many at all. I take a men’s multi (GAT), protein powders only before bed (casein) or when a meal or snack is unavailable. I have tried three times to stay on creatine but every time I get sore joints so I choose not to use it anymore. I did take CLA three times a day for 90 days which did seem to help burn some fat everywhere but my mid section. I’ve also been looking into DHEA but it seems for every good article about it there’s two negative articles to smash its use. It does seem however that DHEA may be good for us over 40 guys simply because we’re deficient by nature?

I really appreciate everyone taking the time to respond and welcome any advice that you personally have had success with in regard to diet and weight training. I’m not looking to enter a competition but here in my mid-life I want people to look at me and say that guy works hard and looks good with a fair amount of size. As far a testosterone goes I’ll leave that on the back burner for now and put in the hard work while dialing in my diet.

Protein intake in the 200-240 range is what I would recommend you shoot for, so I’d say you’re good on that score.

But please clarify your goals. At the moment, are you trying to improve your physique (which would require cutting), or are you trying to gain mass (which would require getting at least a little fatter, and thus probably make your physique s/w less aesthetic)?

I am sure this is a crime against nature.

I am.not qualified to dish out advice but here is my opinion.

First off just eat the whole damn egg with some real bacon. It won’t be the end of the world. The good fats you seek is in the egg yolks.

Find a real program. Your lifts should not be the same. Like 5/3/1 for hardgainers or CTs 915

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I agree with the crime against nature comment but last year I had high Cholesterol so I opted to omit cheese, mayo, high fat meats, etc… from my diet and my last blood work came back in the normal range. Heart health is important to me because I have a family history of men dropping dead in their 40’s from heart attacks. Trust me, every so often I get the whole eggs and some thick cut bacon, Nothin Mo Betta!

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Your diet doesn’t look like a disaster though here are a few points for the sake of banter

-Protein bars and powders, I simply don’t trust them. The bars are full of glycerine which you do not want if trying to shed BF and the powders I’ve had have actually made me fat and spiked blood sugar despite being supposed Isolates of slow acting protein.

-Egg whites? Eat the fucking yolk, it’s where all the good stuff is, including lecithin which helps with cholesterol profiles.

Fun fact: I had shitty cholesterol profiles until I went on keto and ate 18 whole eggs along with 2 pounds of salmon every day (yes, every damn day) for 6 months, had bloods done and my doctor said he’d never seen such a good cholesterol profile in his 30 years of practice. The only thing that got flagged was the ratio of HDL/LDL for being ‘too good’ (ok it’s not too good as it was flagged, but he said he’d never seen it happen before). Morel of the story is don’t be afraid of egg yolks and get some omega 3’s. You also need GLA each day (evening primrose oil contains this)

Be careful with peanut butter, it’s been known to be a culprit given metric spoons aren’t the same as the ones we use daily = )

Honestly, if you wanted to try something more radical you could just do 5 or 6 whole eggs for breakfast with each meal after that being a broiled source of protein thrown in a huge green salad with unlimited seasoning powders and apple cider vinegar (no oil or mayo type stuff though). If that doesn’t recomp you then it’s fair to say we have a problem

Thanks Chalk, I often wondered about the powders and bars. They are a quick fix for me when time is an issue and I just need to get something in my stomach. I’d much rather have some type of whole food if it’s available. As far as eggs go, I’ll meet you half way and make my omelet’s half white’s & half regular eggs (mostly because I have a bunch of liquid whites to consume).

Omega 3’s are another topic I’d like to discuss because I had been buying some cheap brand at Sam’s Club for the longest time and they were the only one’s I’ve tried that have absolutely no aftertaste whatsoever but I often wondered if there was a better product to take? . Here’s what I was taking

Yeah, a lot of the bars contain products which by law don’t have to be listed bas a carbohydrate, but end up having the same effect in the body.

I first got curious about the bars when a friend gave me a couple to try which tasted too damn good, so as an experiment I left one outside overnight sitting about 10 inches apart from some raw vegetables for good measure. The next day the protein bar was absolutely swarming with ants, yet not one of them wanted to know about the veggies

As pessimistic as it sounds I simply don’t trust prepackaged foods these days - my metabolism isn’t that forgiving. Testing of olive oil has shown that the vast majority of olive oil on the shelves is at best a blend of olive oil with something else. I guess companies figure that unless they kill someone it’s worth the gamble to misrepresent their product.

The product you have might be ok, it’s impossible to tell… it has a carb listed which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I’m sorry I can’t be of any more help with that one (sorry!)

I know you are probably going to hate this, but if you changed your refined protein meals to water packed salmon you would be eliminating any funny business from unscrupulous manufacturers as well as guaranteeing genuine omega 3 intake.

I have access to cheap water packed wild salmon and have been eating the shit for the last 3 years… the trick is to imagine a pretty women giving you a lap dance when you’re eating it.

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Try krill oil and/or Biotest’s Flameout

Quality d3 well worth it also…

A lot of stuff being brought up in this thread, and while late the the party I’ll chime in anyway.

I’m 48, 5’9", and today sit at 215 lbs and 15.9% bodyfat (not lean by any stretch but decent) according to hydrostatic testing. I’ve been on TRT since 2011 with numbers similar to the OP. Pre TRT I was obese, had a terrible lipid profile, and was pre diabetic, had a cloudy mind much of the time, and while not surly, just kinda lost enthusiasm over the years. I’d not go back to where I was. I overhauled my diet and hit the gym. and feel better today than I did in my mid 30’s. I recovered from a divorce (they are all kind of messy) and now have an amazing gal (who is much younger than me, but that’s a different story) and have all the energy in the world to keep up with her, in and out of the bedroom.

To me several keys for us aging dudes, here is what worked for me to get my mojo back.

Get a full blood profile done, not just the usual markers the chop-shop TRT places use. Full liver panel, lipid panel, hormone panel that includes estrodial and DHEA, A1c, fasting glucose etc. Get the whole picture and work with a legitimate doc, not those TRT docs you hear on radio and late night TV. Then let the doc set your supplement and hormone protocol. Personally, I take 200 mg T Cyp per week, and an E blocker 3x week. It’s not terribly expensive although pinning can be annoying after a while.

Use a good fish oil. The best I’ve found, having EPA and DHA levels exceeding prescription Lovaza are Dr. Crantons and SFH (stronger faster healthier). The latter is the one I use now and come with a pump. I just grab it from the fridge in the morning and take 2 to 3 pumps directly. I had my Omega 3 levels checked and they are off the chart.

Hire a strength coach. I went the powerlifting route and am chasing both deadlift national and squat state records, and have the 198 records in my gym independent of age.

Take a combo vitamin K2 and D3 product. K2 is overlooked but is responsible for putting calcium where it should be (along with D3), in your bones and teeth and not your arteries. Alternatively, eat natto but most people won’t do that.

A good zinc supplement is important if you do TRT, as it’s a natural aromatase inhibitor and helps support the immune system anyway if you don’t do TRT.

Drink green juice. I do daily, using a single auger juicer (cucumber, celery, carrots, rotating greens, lemon, ginger). Once your body gets used to it, you will enjoy its effects and crave less shit food.

Meal prep using any one of the zillion templates out there.

Get your fiber.

Eat whole foods from the perimeter of your supermarket, not the packaged crap. This is pretty much what the paleo people do, and what you’ll read in books like In Defense of Food, etc.

Train with purpose and intensity 3-4 days/week, but keep your workouts under an hour and get lots of sleep.

Drink a gallon of fine quality h20/day. The stuff Bobby Bucher would endorse.

Prolly stuff you already know. But off the top of my head those are the biggies that had an impact on my mid-40’s turnaround.

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Some pretty good advice here, from across the spectrum.

You seem motivated. You work out pretty often and seem to be eating really clean. You need to decide on TRT or not, there are pros and cons. Once you are on it you will always be on it (your body will stop producing), but it will make your levels back like when you were in your 20s. Usually best to hold out as long as possible without.

Biggest 2 things I would recommend:

  1. Check your thyroid per KSMan’s stickies in TRT. Most people not on the ocean seem to be deficient (90%+ believe it or not), and that screws up all your hormones. It might be an easy fix once you know. Most don’t know.
  2. Increase your lifting load slowly somehow, even just a # a week if you have little plates. An intermediate program if your strength has stalled is something you could look into, something that varies Volume with Intensity.
    and complete opinion for me 3) your deadlift should be way more than your bench.

I’m not going to read the pages and pages of responses above so if any of this is a repeat please forgive me.

  1. Get your zinc, magnesium, and selenium levels checked. Also B-vitamins in general because the older you get the more those become a problem so check them anyway.

  2. Bring up your monounsaturated and saturated fats to about 30% of your daily intake (15% mono, 15% sat) with your polyunsaturated portion coming from 3-5g per day of an omega-3 supplement and whatever traces are in your food. Get your mono and saturates largely from lean meats instead of “extra lean” and from oils like macadamia nut, avocado, and coconut oils. Monounsaturated and saturated fat intakes are associated with testosterone levels and raising the former often leads to increases in the latter.

  3. Take deliberate “unloading” weeks regularly in your training where you go down to half as many sets and don’t use any high intensity techniques for pushing past failure. Accumulated training effect is your friend. Accumulated fatigue is your enemy. Taking every 4th week off lets you benefit from both and you come back stronger and healthier on week 5.

  4. Get quality sleep. Black out any light sources. Sleep with ear plugs if you can. Take a hot shower before bed to relax. Do whatever you need to do to improve your sleep.

I am 51 years old and in the last year I seem to have finally been able to put all my knowledge together and execute with excellent results.

I can say a couple of basic things:

Make sure that you are clear about what your goals are. Either your building strength and muscle or you are cutting fat and inproving conditioning. It is true that very clever people have figured out how to do everything at once, but regular guys need to focus on one or the other. In my opinion.

I wouldn’t consider any major hormone replacement therapy until you get yourself down to 15% bodyfat or less. Once you are in this range, your body should function very very well. It is amazing how much being overweight screws your systems and health up. Get rid of that fat and then get yourself tested.

Understanding food and how you should eat is of primary importance. Getting plenty of protein and knowing when and when not to eat Carbs will do wonders for your body composition. Think about Carbs like you would about coffee. Get your carbs in early in the day. Cut out carbs in the evening. (However, always make sure you eat carbs before a workout, even in the evening.)

As far as testosterone specifically: Eat brocolli, cabbage, or brussel sprouts daily. Take ZMA nightly. Eat natural fats from meat and good oil. Sleep as much as you can. Work your legs with heavy weight at least once a week. Have real sex and stay away from porn.

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