T Nation

Rob's 2017 Contest Prep Thread


I was very glad I double checked, considering the alternative is injections the rest of your life (plus you end up a juiced up roid head like @BrickHead :wink:


@Lonnie123 what made you get your levels checked initially? Anything you were experiencing or routine check up?


I had always been curious what they would be anyway, a d I think I just wanted to see if the contest prep had any effects on them. I don’t recall anything standing out.


A while ago there was a dude on here that was in the military and he was training for a show. Every body was like bro, you got no mass.

Anyway, he dieted down to about six percent and looked like shit, but he posted his blood tests along the way, and they went from about 600 Total Test to about 150 Total Test the day after the show.

I’m on TRT so I am familiar with peaks and troughs, but 600 to 150 isn’t an example of peaks and troughs.

I suspect being stage ready wreaks havoc on your HPTA. But I also expect that recovery for nattys is pretty good, so @Lonnie123’s advice is spot on.

I know it’s all about the mirror, but I suspect you were around six percent when you were on stage, and that has to take a toll on your HPTA. I suspect if you do all the right things, red meat, eggs, healthy fats, squats, you will recover. But it is something you need to be aware of.

With respect to being on the needle, well, it ain’t that bad. But, I am 54 and am done having kids, so there is that.

@robstein is smart AF and he will figure it out, especially with all of the collective knowledge on TN.

You go Boy!


Rob and I were discussing this a couple of weeks ago, and I did the same thing, rattling off every little nutrition trick I could think of to maximize his natural recovery and hormone production. I may not be a HRT patient, but something I pointed out was that once he starts relying on that, it’s going to be a personal choice of quality of life vs “can I compete natty?”

Obviously, I would say quality of life trumps everything else, especially for someone like Rob, with a wife, pups, a successful business etc etc.

It is interesting though, that perhaps the depths of serious contest prep take their toll. I know a female competitor that states after her last win (a major one at that), that she was pretty messed up for well over a year after.



Hysterical! My weekly TRT of 100 mg per week (MEDICINE FOR A MEDICAL CONDITION!) turned me into a 171-173-pound monster onstage!


Your jaw line and deltoid development prove you to be on the sauce

Edit: damn dude that avatar is really insane, I hadn’t seen it in a while. Too bad you couldn’t get a few more shows under your belt


Lmao! Don’t forget trap growth.

Thank you!


This post is aimed exclusively at @robstein, so other may feel free to pass along, unless you happen to enjoy scream trumpet, in which case welcome aboard.

I fell down a particularly long YouTube rabbit hole recently and stumbled upon what I can only describe as a channel with such a niche market it may contain only 3 relatable viwers… You, me, and the channels creator.

Behold… TRUMPET GAINS! The worlds first, only, and perhaps unneeded combination scream trumpet and body building YouTube Channel.

Not gonna knock the guy, hes got chops and a good build so hes doing it right, just a funny combination of hobbies that only a few people must have. He seems to be on the YouTube bandwagon covering Disney Songs, heres a fan favorite for the whole family:


@The_Myth thanks so much for your post and support man! You’ve always been one the biggest supporters on this thread, even making the trip out to see the Hercules a couple years ago. Much appreciated brother.

Regarding the recovery stuff, I agree completely. As anyone knows who follows along on my threads, I’m all about doing whatever I can naturally to give myself the best chance for success. Whether that includes being overly analytical about cardio and carb timing, using every supplement from Biotest I can, diet, recovery time, etc., I’m all over it. What’s been puzzling about this is that it’s been a year since I’ve been on stage, and still experiencing prep like symptoms. They are not as bad as being 4 weeks out of a show, but they are significant and impacting my life. Trying to get work done with less than no motivation to do so, depression-like feelings now and again, extreme sensitivity to cold, etc. I would think that these issues would have worked themselves out by now, and these are what initially led me to get some blood work done.

I’m very thankful for the knowledge on TN, and having friends that can offer quality information. Had a couple of great phone conversations with @BrickHead about his experience, what I should be asking the doctors I go to, etc.

I agree 100%. At this point in my life, if I do need to go down the road of HRT, after 4 consecutive shows, I can say with confidence the ability to compete in WNBF or a natural circuit that doesn’t allow HRT is not more important than my quality of life and feeling great. I’m not sure I will get back on stage in the future or not, but if I do, and I need to find a different organization to compete in, not a big deal for me.


@Lonnie123 - Great post! I’ve been viewing this guy for a while, I remember seeing a sick video of him doing one arm pull-ups and blowing a Double C at the top every time. Insane!!


Got my morning results back, numbers were certainly higher.

Test 1 (pm) Total test - 383, Free - 6.7

Test 2 (am) Total test - 546, Free - 13.7

I’m still concerned that my afternoon numbers were so low the first time. Could also be thyroid related, or a myriad of other things I don’t know about. I have appointments next week with specialists to try to get to the bottom of what’s going on with my symptoms.


I’m no endocrinologist but that difference between the am and pm reading… did your doc have anything to say?



The difference between AM and PM is normal - not necessarily yours, but in general, PM is lower. Before I got on TRT I had an AM test and came out at 302 - doc wouldn’t treat. Went to a different doc two weeks later and had a PM test, came back at 170.

The body peaks and troughs normally. 546 is pretty good - not great, but certainly okay. My PM test seven days post injection is 650.

There is certainly a lot to this, so do what you do - be patient, get all the information, make the changes needed.

Keep us posted.


Good question, doc is out of the office until early next week, but a nurse called with my results as I asked them to call me soon as they came in. Knowing the doc, he’ll say with those numbers everything is normal and will recommend anti depressants, he never commented on my super chills and cold sensitivity, which was one of the primary reasons I wanted to get my thyroid levels checked. My TSH level was 3.8, within “normal range” but with just a little online reading it seems like it should be closer to 1.5-2 at most. Again, a great general practitioner and has been helpful over the years, but this isn’t his area.

True, a great point. It is concerning that my PM numbers were so much power, especially free. Although these are just two numbers, only total and free. I will be asking the endo for a full and extensive panel so we can get the full picture. Looking at some charts that break down test levels by age (not sure how accurate they are, study groups were relatively small), my numbers are better but still low for my age group.

Not rushing into anything, I am overly analytical by nature and want to collect all the numbers, see a couple different specialists to get more than one opinion, and also quality info from experienced from folks on here.


Thanks again. As you know, big life events hit me very quickly after my show. My wife got pregnant and we started looking for a home. After looking at 75 homes over the course of a year–utterly exhausted by it–we finally have a home and our ten-month-old son of whom I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of pictures.

I don’t know how anyone competes with a kid, even just one. We’re aiming for more, and I can’t imagine how some swing it. Well, actually I know how they likely swing it, but I rather not say.


Yeah, the time investment was not something I was prepared for. Of course everyone “knows” how much work kids are, but DOING it is a whole different story.

I find myself constantly having to delay my workouts or shift them around, as the alternative is to neglect my kid and burden my wife wife even more responsibility while I satisfy my selfish hobby. I’m down to basically 3 “big” workouts a week and then an occasional extra bonus one here and there. I know just how exhausted she is so me saying “see ya in a few hours after my workout babe!” Just doesn’t feel right so now it’s either when they are napping midday or after they are sleeping.

Okay… hijack over, Rob can have his thread back now


That’s why my workouts are either 5am or 930pm. 5am is the most consistent and responsible. Nobody has ever needed me at 5am.


Those are my weekends. Back home and cooking pancakes before anyone else in the House is even awake -lol



So my gym opens at four AM, and my first class is at 7:21. I try to hit it three times a week at four, but at that time, it’s always fasted.

Thoughts, strategies, ideas, @The_Mighty_Stu, @robstein, @BrickHead, @Despade?