T Nation

Programs for Guys Just Starting TRT?

I’m 50 and have been lifting for only 3 years. I’ve made great progress but the last 6 months T has dropped and had to start TRT

I want to adapt my training to take full advantage of the situation as I can already start feeling the positive effects kicking in.

I could just start any hypertrophy block, but I am interest in a program for guys more my age. Can anyone point me in the right direction please?

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Just train like any normal person not on TRT. Unless your on some ridiculous amount that is well above normal prescribed levels. But even then there is other factors that need to be taken into consideration. TRT isnt the fountain of youth.

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What are you trying to get out of your training? Like muscle size and looks, some performance goal like a higher powerlifting total or faster 5k race, or some sort of general health related stuff.

What kind of changes to your training are you thinking about? Like more days in the gym, or new training methods, or what?

Also, what kind of plan or routine have you been following lately?

I had spent the most of the last 2 years doing a strength block, then a hypertrophy block. Still new to training, didn’t start until 2018 after losing 60 lbs.
I liked doing power and strength blocks, SBD and accessories to make those better. Dead’s are my favorite thing in the gym, but lately I have wanted to try and focus on how I look overall. I want to get rid of the little belly fat and waistline fat that has been holding on from my heavy years, and get my shoulders, arms and quads to grow so I have a better appearance.

I’ve been doing most hypertrophy block for 6 weeks and then deload which was last week.
My TRT will be optimal but not stupid…I just want a fighting chance to build more muscle even at 50 and generally have a better quality of live in and out of the gym.

I can buy programs all day online… but they don’t take into account being 50 and needing more time to recover …
I did a ball busting 8 week block last fall and ended up with training induced fatigue that took me a couple of weeks to revolver fully from.
I just want to train smartly for the game I’m running.
I’ve listened to a lot of what John Meadows says, he seems to get the 45+ guys training and has good info on how we can still progress in the gym.

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That sounds good. Like Bulldog mentioned, sometimes guys think that TRT will let them train like mutants and they want to do two a day workouts or other crazy stuff.

I don’t know if the is old news to you, or if it’s been included in other strength programs you’ve done, but you should think about Undulating, or rotating the intensity of your lifts week to week.

Like a strength block could go;

Week 1, squat/bench/dead, all “light”
Week 2, squat/bench/ dead, all “medium”
Week 3, squat/bench/dead, all “heavy”

Instead, to allow better recovery you could go

Week 1, squat medium, bench heavy, deadlift medium
Week 2, squat light, bench light, deadlift heavy
Week 3, squat heavy, bench medium, deadlift light

If you’re looking for a routine/book that follows that kind of scheme, check out Swede Burn’s “5th Set.” A few guys hear did well with that program.

That sounds exactly like what I’m looking for. Thank you.

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For the mass, Meadows is cool. He does great bodybuilder stuff with order of exercises, variety of moves and so ranges and cool techniques. But when it comes to planning “Intensity” or how hard to push each session he seems to start out at Balls to the Wall, and from there goes harder each week.

If that’s too much for you, you could do the same routine, just start just a little easier, lighter or less intense than Meadows recommends. Then gradually built up and push harder over the training cycle in the same way, only you started at “level 7” instead of “level 10.”

Here’s a piece of a C. Thibadeau article where he described using this approach.
"### Rate of Perceived Effort

The key for a natural lifter who’s a volume person is to maintain the proper level of perceived effort. Here’s what you should expect from each level.

Rate of Perceived Effort in Lifting Activities

10 Maximal Effort You couldn’t do anything more.
9.5 Almost Limit Effort You couldn’t have done more reps, but maybe could’ve done a bit more weight.
9 Extremely Hard You could do 1 more rep.
8.5 Very Hard You could do 1 more rep.
8 Hard You could do 2 more reps.
7.5 Fairly Hard You could do 2 more reps for sure, maybe 3.
7 Somewhat Demanding You could do 3 more reps.
5-6 Comfortable You could do 4-6 more reps.
1-4 Very Easy It feels like a warm-up.

Now, few lifters can actually do a level 9.5 or 10 in a regular workout, even if they think that they do. Most people fake themselves out when training to failure. In reality, most are at a 9 when they hit “failure” during a regular training session. Those who can get to a true 9.5 and 10 regularly in training are those who respond the best to low volume/high intensity training and who burn themselves out when they do high volume work. Why? Because when they “pull back” they still do an 8.5 or 9.

Just how hard should you push your sets when you’re natural and decide to use a “volume” approach? Go mostly with a 7-8 RPE most of the time; sometimes going up to an 8.5.

I normally use a wave-like approach, like this:

  • Week 1: RPE 7 (3 reps in the tank for sure)
  • Week 2: RPE 7.5 (2 reps in the tank, maybe 3)
  • Week 3: RPE 8 (2 reps in the tank)
  • Week 4: RPE 8.5-9 (1 rep in the tank, maybe 2)

Then we could do a deload at an RPE of 6 and start a new cycle. Or start right off with a new cycle, since it starts at an RPE of around 7. This will minimize the stress response to your work sets, counterbalancing for the higher volume of work."

Here’s a Mike Isreatel Power Point presentation where he elaborates on the same ideas.

Yeah I used RPE with my old trainer on my google sheets
Thanks for the replies… I will look into Meadows programs

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