Ready For First Cycle? (Test C, Bloodwork, TRT, Lots Of Research, Lots Of Details)

It’s like never having keto flu. It gives you a clean energy boost not like caffeine and makes the transition so much better. I found out about it listening to Dr Dominic D’Agostino (who created exogenous ketones) and is the main guy who studies using ketosis for athletes.

Have you checked SHBG? Have you checked your Thyroid hormones: Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3? I haven’t gone through everyone’s comments so I don’t know if it’s been said, but no offense you need to establish a baseline after training and dieting correctly before you think about cycling.
You have more than enough advantage on TRT levels to make way more progress than normal people. There is either something wrong with your thyroid hormone levels, SHBG, or cortisol if you are unable to make improvements to your physique with TRT.

You will be spinning your wheels if you cycle prematurely. Just the honest truth.


I’ve heard him on JRE. Smart guy. I’m gonna have to try it this time. I love eating keto… really everything about it, except keto flu.
Thanks for the info


Cortisol was last tested 6 or so months before I started TRT (June/July 2018). I am a fairly stressful person as well.

This Link shows the last time I tested SHBG and Thyroid Hormones (little over a year ago). I am sure they have improved since then, since I have been dialed in on TRT for awhile now (6+ months). Doctor will no longer test SHBG, and they probably won’t test Thyroid hormones again.

I am not going to cycle at this time until I dial in my diet and training more. I will reassess in 6-12 months.

I read through the entire post after being tagged here. Lots of good advice being given. I’m still evolving in my training and nutrition but as dexter said ive been keto for a while. I’m now more keto carnivorish than anything else. The results I saw after just 2 weeks of strict keto made me wish I had started this diet 20 years ago. I am dabbling in cyclical keto right now and using Sunday’s as a carb refeed day but even those daya dont compare to most people’s carb intake. I have a few bowls of oatmeal on Sunday to replenish glycogen stores and support my performance in the gym. Comments have been made about keto not being ideal for muscle building and this is accurate based on orthodox keto. Orthodox keto at 25% protein is not sufficient. Keto cultist will tell you that to much protein will cause gluconeogenesis to occur throwing you out of ketosis. This is false and many studies done can easily be found proving that gluconeogenesis has been greatly exaggerated and does not effect circulating blood glucose levels. EAT YOUR PROTEIN. High fat high protein and ultra low carbs. Piss strips are worthless. If your dead set on testing ketones then get the keto mojo meter. I have one and its a good tool for measuring glycemic response to certain tools and if you want to verify that your in ketosis but if you keep your carbs ultra low you have no choice but to be in ketosis. Do whatever training split you want. If your training intensity is sufficient you will get the stimulation you need for growth. I’m a terrible person to ask about whether or not you should cycle. I say go for it. Your numbers look good on your bloodwork so just keep up with that.


Your Estradiol is way too high, especially with your very low SHBG. You need to split up your Test shots in smaller doses. Divide your weekly test dosage so that you can do EOD injections to decrease the conversion to E2. You will not make progress in the gym until this addressed.
I also recommend you do a 24-hour saliva cortisol panel. The blood Cortisol is meaningless as it is bound in the blood. Saliva measures free cortisol and is very accurate.

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My ESTRADIOL is too high at 30.6 pg/mL? Keep in mind the bloodwork in the link above is from well over a year ago. Current bloodwork is in post #1.

Overall I feel great - I do not plan on sticking myself with insulin syringes more than twice a week as I will surely get needle fatigue.

I will look into the 24-hour saliva cortisol panel - hopefully I can get a doctor to order it as medically necessary.

If my Cortisol is too high, what can I do about it?


I am excited to try Keto and IF! I will look into Cyclical Keto (Carb Refeed Day) after 2-3 months on regular Keto (maybe have a cheat meal once a week on Sundays to keep it interesting).

Macro wise I am planning on about 150g Protein, under 30g Carbs, and the remainder as Fats (Daily). Will work up from about 2200 calories to 3200 calories over a month or 2 (Reverse Diet).

Thanks for the advice!

2200 to 3200 wont matter on Keto. If your strict and stick to whole foods you’ll get shredded. I started at 3200 calories and lost 19 lbs in 2 weeks. It was mostly water weight. Attached is a pic from this morning.


I want them lat-vein-gainzzz! Looking incredible dude!


Don’t you feel/look flat? How’s strength in the gym?

When on keto and legit in ketosis I feel better then I’ve ever felt before. Constant energy with no ups and downs throughout the day, I’m more on-point mentally and I feel really good. Plus I lose a ton of fat fairly quickly without any noticeable loss muscle in muscle mass.


I’m increasing strength consistently and breaking PRs left and right. I was definitely “flat” before I started cyclic keto. The refeed days have filled me out some. I’ll probably continue the refeed days and do some more targeted keto utilizing dextrose pre workout for fuel. Its been an amazing ride and I’m glad I did this

No. I was looking at the older Estradiol.
I’m more concerned if your cortisol is too low. It doesn’t make sense that you ‘feel great’ and yet can’t make progress in the gym with those hormone levels. Either you have low cortisol (Which means Testosterone/Thyroid won’t work) or you need a trainer in the gym to help you. Get tested and you can go from there.


Are you saying that you’ll drink some carbs pre-workout and then return to Ketosis afterwards? I may have to try this - AFTER doing strict Keto for a few months (and becoming fat adapted). I will also add a cheat meal once a week after a few months as well.


I will have to get a 24 Hr Cortisol Test ordered the next time I go to the Doctor. It might be awhile, though…

Yes I weigh out 10 g of dextrose pre workout. The glycemic index is based on dextrose as it is the closest thing to glucose. The half life of dextrose is 15 minutes so its in and out very quickly. You can drink it once you have entered the gym and fuel your lifting. At 10 g you can stay within your daily allowance of carbs as well

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I looked into this 24 hour cortisol test and its quite expensive. 220 bucks is what I saw. If your high or low what does that tell you and what actions would you take?


Good to know!

I have insurance which would likely cover most of the cost. To be honest, I don’t know what I would do if I was too low or high.

Don’t get me wrong, you look great. But here’s my question for you… have you put on more muscle since starting ketosis, or just gotten a better looking physique?

Also, prior to Keto, you said you were eating 3200 calories a day? Was this maintenance? Did you start out thin when lifting, or were you a bigger dude adding muscle and losing fat?

The reason I ask, is I have seen very few folks successfully build a solid frame while on the Keto styled diets. It’s superb at dropping water and some fat and shredding out, but I just haven’t personally seen a lot of dudes putting on some serious size.

I noticed this in the beginning as well. Strict keto is great for losing weight but not so much for building muscle. Its my belief that the answer lies in the anabolic properties of insulin. In ketosis there is no or very negligible release of insulin. Insulin is the transport for glucose to the muscles. Ive since met and spoken with quite a few keto bodybuilders and they all say the same thing. TARGETED KETO. Even with targeted keto the gains are slow but ripped to the bone lean gains. I just met a guy who won 1st place in Europe on keto. He looked incredible on stage. Where theres a will theres a way. I’m gonna hack this thing one way or another.