T Nation

Roberts' Cycles for TRT?

Anyone given any thought to the idea of substituting Bill Roberts short 2 on/4 off cycles for TRT? If these short cycles do not shut down HPTA while also increasing energy, libido, wood and reducing stupidity (brain fog) then it seems that they have much to recommend them over permanent TRT with its attendant permanent suppression of HTPA. Just askin.

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Bump what Bushy said.

TRT is a complete different ballgame from what Bill Roberts is advocating in his short cycles.

The goal of TRT, or HRT is to provide for a more normal testosterone level in the body.

Mr. Roberts’ cycles is for building muscle while at the same time attempting to minimize the bad sides associated with androgenic compounds.

I hear ya both, and those are excellent points. But there is one little wrinkle in the idea of short cycles worth thinking about; Roberts says that after a short cycle the HPTA is actually elevated!

This how he explains the fact that lifters often continue to make gains or keep gains into weeks 5 and 6 without aas. Doesnt this hold out the promise that TRTers might get some increased function as well?

(Further, as one whose Test is in the tank I can tell you it aint no fun, but the idea of permanently suppressing ones HPTA is not appealing, feeble though it may be. It worked a lot better before I tried TRT than it does now.

I am doing Alpha Male, super Miraforte and ZMA to encourage my poor abused endogenous production to return to pre TRT normal- which of course also sucked but at least I could still do arithmatic in my head).

[quote]MichaelOH wrote:
I am doing Alpha Male, super Miraforte and ZMA to encourage my poor abused endogenous production to return to pre TRT normal- which of course also sucked but at least I could still do arithmatic in my head).[/quote]

For that to do anything for your HPTA, you need to stop the TRT.

[quote]MichaelOH wrote:
I hear ya both, and those are excellent points. But there is one little wrinkle in the idea of short cycles worth thinking about; Roberts says that after a short cycle the HPTA is actually
elevated!

This how he explains the fact that lifters often continue to make gains or keep gains into weeks 5 and 6 without aas. Doesnt this hold out the promise that TRTers might get some increased function as well?[/quote]

Well from what I understand, Bill Roberts doesn’t describe an ‘elevated’ response at all. Rather, it’s that the HPTA is very ready to ‘bounceback’ and restore normal LH levels almost immediately.

Now if those ‘normal’ levels are already inadequate, like in a hypogonadic patient, you see where this goes.

On another note completely, the two week cycles to which Bill refers require shorter esters and 1g/wk of test minimum. Follow that with four weeks of nothing and you’ve thrown therapy objectives of stability (and moderation) out the window.

[quote]KSman wrote:
MichaelOH wrote:
I am doing Alpha Male, super Miraforte and ZMA to encourage my poor abused endogenous production to return to pre TRT normal- which of course also sucked but at least I could still do arithmatic in my head).

For that to do anything for your HPTA, you need to stop the TRT. [/quote]

I stopped the end of March.

[quote]chillain wrote:
MichaelOH wrote:
I hear ya both, and those are excellent points. But there is one little wrinkle in the idea of short cycles worth thinking about; Roberts says that after a short cycle the HPTA is actually
elevated!

This how he explains the fact that lifters often continue to make gains or keep gains into weeks 5 and 6 without aas. Doesnt this hold out the promise that TRTers might get some increased function as well?

Well from what I understand, Bill Roberts doesn’t describe an ‘elevated’ response at all. Rather, it’s that the HPTA is very ready to ‘bounceback’ and restore normal LH levels almost immediately.

Now if those ‘normal’ levels are already inadequate, like in a hypogonadic patient, you see where this goes.

On another note completely, the two week cycles to which Bill refers require shorter esters and 1g/wk of test minimum. Follow that with four weeks of nothing and you’ve thrown therapy objectives of stability (and moderation) out the window.

[/quote]

Well that is also a good oint. I guess I need some help interpreting the following from B Rob (hope that aint going all ghetto on the guy):

"While I’ll readily say that I learned 2 week cycles from a Greek doctor (known on some boards as Lysis), whose practical experience synced up with some information I had that indicated why it had great promise (much faster recovery of the HPTA:

the response of the hypothalamus is actually improved after two weeks on androgens, but then gets rapidly far below baseline) you would not, I think, find your general steroid writers saying that they learned this in turn from me, or pretty much anything from any other specific writer either, and are passing it on. Just not what they do, it seems."

Here is the thread: http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1129341&pageNo=1

I thought the man was saying that 2 weeks on AAS would actually elevate LH, or some other component of HPTA? Wishful thinkng? Looking forward to hearing y’alls opinion.

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[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
As I recal, you were doing cyp. You will have a little of that still in your system.[/quote]

Your memory is excellent. Mine aint so good post TRT.

So I take it that the feeling here is I misinterpreted Roberts’ remark. He apparently was just saying that after 2 weeks on AAS the Hypothalmus rebounds strongly but more than 2 weeks it gets more difficult?

Aight. Ima nube. But look again: “…the response of the hypothalamus is actually improved after two weeks on androgens, but then gets rapidly far below baseline…”. Took that to mean that after 2 weeks on AAS one will have higher endogenous Test than before.

Several of y’all have made the very logical point that endogenous Test is not worth preserving for TRT candidates. One would think. Yet I can say that after having tested at @182 and trying TRT for a couple months I very much wish I had my previous endogenous production back. I had a hard time losing weight, was lethargic, occassional weak wood- true. But now! Now Im stupid, lazy, and unhappy! So I suspect that for some of us endogenous production may well be worth preserving.

Lastly in regards to Roberts recommendation of doing at least 1G/week on a 2 weeker I took that to be a minimum for achieving gains in muscularity. I not worried about getting big, just want to lose some fat and get back to normal. Appreciate everyones remarks.

you felt worse on test?

maybe there is another problem (estrogen?)…

[quote]MichaelOH wrote:
But look again: “…the response of the hypothalamus is actually improved after two weeks on androgens, but then gets rapidly far below baseline…”. Took that to mean that after 2 weeks on AAS one will have higher endogenous Test than before.
[/quote]

Yeah, that’s the rub. The “improved” response he refers to simply leads to faster recovery of normal test production in the testes. Let me illustrate:

HPTA: Hypothalamus (LHRH) —> Pituitary (LH) —> Testes (testosterone)

After a 2 week cycle: hypothalamus mildly suppressed (modest LHRH), pituitary sensitized (normal LH even with less LHRH), normal test production

After a longer cycle: hypothalamus suppressed (low LHRH), pituitary suppressed (low LH), low test

So during recovery from longer cycles, there is a lag period (based on pituitary suppression) during which LH levels remain low, even after LHRH levels have normalized. Enter Clomid or Nolva to boost LH during this period and until normal endocrine function (along the entire axis) is restored.

Bill also lays this out clearly in these threads:

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=460560

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1446325

[quote]FuriousGeorge wrote:
you felt worse on test?

maybe there is another problem (estrogen?)…[/quote]

After the 1st few weeks I did. I suspected that it was Estradiol but I began arimidex and did it from mid Feb till end of March without improvement. Mostly at 1mg EOD or 2x week. I did mostly 100 mg/week T Cyp. Some have said they thought T cyp was just too low.

[quote]chillain wrote:
MichaelOH wrote:
But look again: “…the response of the hypothalamus is actually improved after two weeks on androgens, but then gets rapidly far below baseline…”. Took that to mean that after 2 weeks on AAS one will have higher endogenous Test than before.

Yeah, that’s the rub. The “improved” response he refers to simply leads to faster recovery of normal test production in the testes. Let me illustrate:

HPTA: Hypothalamus (LHRH) —> Pituitary (LH) —> Testes (testosterone)

After a 2 week cycle: hypothalamus mildly suppressed (modest LHRH), pituitary sensitized (normal LH even with less LHRH), normal test production

After a longer cycle: hypothalamus suppressed (low LHRH), pituitary suppressed (low LH), low test

So during recovery from longer cycles, there is a lag period (based on pituitary suppression) during which LH levels remain low, even after LHRH levels have normalized. Enter Clomid or Nolva to boost LH during this period and until normal endocrine function (along the entire axis) is restored.

Bill also lays this out clearly in these threads:

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=460560

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1446325

[/quote]
Thanks for those threads. Here is Br’s explanation (speaking of 2 week cycles):

"BR: The advantage is that there’s actually a two-stage process of inhibition. You have the hypothalamus and the pituitary. Between the two of them, the hypothalamus produces a hormone called LHRH, and that tells the pituitary to produce LH. LH tells the testicles to produce testosterone. Now, after two weeks, the pituitary actually isn’t inhibited yet. In fact, it’s sensitized.

So it will put out more LH from LHRH during the first two weeks. If you stop at two weeks, the recovery is very, very fast. All you have to do is stop and when the hypothalamus produces LHRH, you’re back in business, especially if you use Clomid. You’ll get a very fast recovery. You’ll be back to normal in less than a week.

But, if you go beyond that two-week point, the pituitary also goes into a state of suppression. And from that point, it can take many weeks to get back to normal."

See the source of my confusion here:“Now, after two weeks, the pituitary actually isn’t inhibited yet. In fact, it’s sensitized. So it will put out more LH from LHRH during the first two weeks.” Well it seems clear that he is saying that the Pituitary responds better per unit of LHRH released by the hypothalmus.

But that doesnt quite answer the question of whether the sensitized, post 2 week Pituitary releases more or less LH than the normal pituitary. Not trying to be difficult, just trying to parse the guys words to understand.

[quote]MichaelOH wrote:
See the source of my confusion here:“Now, after two weeks, the pituitary actually isn’t inhibited yet. In fact, it’s sensitized. So it will put out more LH from LHRH during the first two weeks.” Well it seems clear that he is saying that the Pituitary responds better per unit of LHRH released by the hypothalmus.

But that doesnt quite answer the question of whether the sensitized, post 2 week Pituitary releases more or less LH than the normal pituitary. Not trying to be difficult, just trying to parse the guys words to understand. [/quote]

I agree with the conclusion that a ‘sensitized’ pituitary secretes more LH in proportion to the LHRH it receives from the hypothalamus.

And I would that imagine that any supraphysiological production (of LH) would occur only very briefly, if at all. The pituitary is trying to rapidly restore homeostasis and then simply settle back into its groove.

Furthermore dont forget this:
“…the response of the hypothalamus is actually improved after two weeks on androgens,…”

So he says after 2 weeks the hypothalamus response is improved and the pituitary is sensitized.

Ya see how easy it is for a rookie to get confused.

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You know MichaelOH, I’m really rooting for you here.

It’s just that any “improved” and “sensitized” functioning would would have to be permanently sustained AND cumulative to lead to any worthwhile elevations (in endogenous test production).

We’re basically talking regeneration here which is a real stretch IMO. Maybe more plausible if the master gland and adenohypophysis were solely focused on the testicular axis and had no other hormones to “worry” about, but I’m just talking nonsense now.

[quote]chillain wrote:
You know MichaelOH, I’m really rooting for you here.

It’s just that any “improved” and “sensitized” functioning would would have to be permanently sustained AND cumulative to lead to any worthwhile elevations (in endogenous test production).

We’re basically talking regeneration here which is a real stretch IMO. Maybe more plausible if the master gland and adenohypophysis were solely focused on the testicular axis and had no other hormones to “worry” about, but I’m just talking nonsense now.

[/quote]
Cool. I didnt understand a word of it anyway.

Well if one had success with cutting fat without depressing endogenous production with the roids I guess one might HOPE that the decrease in blubber might result in some improvement in endogenous Test production/less aromatization. Yeah starting to sound like wishful thinkin even to me. But If I wish real, real hard…

Here we go again- Roberts on upregulation:

“Is there evidence that muscles are more responsive to the same level of androgen after having been exposed to high dose androgen? That would be the case, at least temporarily, if upregulation occurred. The answer is yes, there is such evidence, anecdotally. If a brief cycle (2 weeks) of high dose AAS with short-acting acetate ester is used, there can be substantially increased androgenic activity, relative to baseline, in weeks 3 and 4 even though the exogenously-supplied androgen is long out of the system. This is what would be expected if upregulation occurred. It could not be the case if substantial downregulation occurred.”

Hah! Where are the skeptics now! :)I’d say that puts to rest some of the questions as to his views on the matter of where endogenous production is in weeks 3-4. I guess 5-6 is a crap shoot?

I realize very few of y’all on this forum are TRTin but for the former posters of the Over 35 variety this could be an attractive alternative to some. Anyway i appreciate your opinions, y’all made me do more diggin. Aint done yet!