T Nation

RT_Nomad, How Do You Train?

When I was diagnosed with dermatomyositis I dropped all AAS’s, testosterone included. My libido was next to zero. But I don’t believe it was as hormone related as it was dermatomyositis related. My wife left me. She said she thought I was going to die, and she needed more intimacy. That was around 2001, I can’t recall precisely.

As I was getting better dealing with my disease, I began to want female companionship again. I knew I had some serious performance issues and sought to see if exogenous testosterone would help. I had my testosterone check and found it to be 272. I was given the cream first, but it didn’t seem to help. I did not get a blood test. I asked my doctor if I could start testosterone cypionate and HCG. She said yes to the testosterone, but she didn’t know anything about HCG, so no to that. I had always had great performance with erections using HCG, so I was disappointed I couldn’t get that. I also asked for Cialis, which she did write for.

We decided that we would search the correct dosage where when I was tested my total testosterone was between 500 and 1,000. The first time I tested it was 1,300. She said it was too high. From then on I took a blood test just before my next injection (testing in the trough). From then on my total testosterone has been between 500 and 700, usually just a little over 500.

I should mention that I never felt like I had a hormone imbalance. I never felt down, lethargic, or any of the emotional or physical feelings many here have mentioned. I felt just fine, but wanted my erections back. Nothing so far has brought back the old erections pre-dermatomyositis, except Caverject. My wife, having some age on her, doesn’t like the length of sessions that Caverject allows. I will say it is a hoot having multiple orgasms without losing your erection.

I can’t speak for anyone else that I knew that competed and took AAS’s.


In 2021 I made a few training changes. Up through 2020 I had believed that unenhanced weight trainers were more concerned with frequency than volume. So I trained 6 days a week alternating between lower body and upper body. The more I was reading T-Nation I questioned that this might not be the best approach, especially considering my age. So I decided to drop a lower body day. That day was Wednesday. It was a light day anyway, so I figured the additional rest might be better than the frequency.

The more I am reading the more I think I need an additional day off. I keep Monday and Friday as lower body days, where Monday is a little more intense. So I take Tuesday off and move my “heavy” upper body day to Wednesday. I take Thursday off. I take Saturday as a lighter upper body day. And Sunday off.

At the same time I am reading the benefits of Dr Dardin’s 30-10-30. In June of 2021 I have incorporated 30-10-30 into many of the exercises of Friday and Saturday. I continue a traditional approach to Monday and Wednesday workout where I am doing as heavy as possible.

At my elevated age my concentric strength seems to have suffered more than my eccentric strength. So, it seemed a good time to explore 30-10-30. I did like that training. One aspect I had difficulty with was making it metabolic. I am at a large gym with many people competing for some of the same machines. Plus at my age I don’t lift anything without warming up, e.g., On the seated leg curl machine (a very good hamstring machine for tension in the fully contracted position) I could use 130lbs for 30-10-30’s, but I had to warm up with 70lbs, then 90lbs, and finally 110lbs before doing the 130lb set. This is the case on many of the 30-10-30 exercises (but not all). So, I would guess that I was missing much of the metabolic benefit.

It did the 30-10-30 on Fridays and Saturdays until October, and decided to stop for a spell. I plan to reintroduce 30-10-30 in February this year.

Your thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.

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my concentric strength seems to have suffered more than my eccentric strength.

That is consistent with what I’ve seen in scientific studies of sarcopenia.

MK-2866 Update:

I am 1 week into my MK-2866 test. I recorded my weight each day and ran a “strength test” on Wednesday.

Let me explain the strength test and ask for your thoughts. It is the seated dip machine, because that is the pushing exercise that I can exert the most power. I warm up with 90lbs for 5 or 6 reps. Then do 5 or 6 reps with 115lbs. The last warmup set is 140lbs. My test poundage is 160lbs that I trying to do 4 sets of 8 reps. If it gets easy for two weeks I will add weight. The first set seems a little difficult to complete 8 reps. The second set is a little easier to do 8 reps. And the third set seems slightly easier than the second. On the fourth (and last set) it is a little more difficult than the second set, but easier than the first set.

I would have thought that the first set would have been the easiest, and each subsequent set would be a little more difficult than previous set. Any ideas why my strength increased through the third set?

( I recall a training strategy from the 1980’s which principle was to determine when you should stop the sets, knowing you have fully trained the muscle. The thought was to pick a weight that you could do 8 reps, but too heavy to do 10 reps. If on the first set you did 8 reps, you did another set. If you did 8 reps again, you did another set. Let’s say you did 7 reps, but couldn’t do the 8th rep, you did another set. But if you dropped 2 reps, you did not do another set. You had fully trained the exercise. I am not saying this is an ideal method of training, but that to note that I always got weaker on the next set.)

Below is a Control Chart of my bodyweight “before” and “during” this MK-2866 test period.


I can explain the Special Causes (numbers in red) if you like, but it isn’t what I am trying to demonstrate

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I have experienced this when pressing heavy. I think I am just more timid on the first set or two, or my nervous system isn’t up and firing. I’ve had bench sets were set 3 or so is easier than the first 2. I am trying to figure this out currently.

Same here. For me I never noticed this when I was younger and lifting lighter weights. When I got older and stronger and so was therefore lifting heavier weights I started to notice this. I think sometimes it just takes more time to grease the groove when one has been training for a long time and is close to or at their limit strength for a particular rep range.

Some guy recently asked Thibaudeau about this in his forum. Like he got more reps on his 3rd set of DB incline.

Christian said that it was a lack of “activation” and had dude do an Over-warmup, where he did a single at a heavier weight than he was going to use for the work sets to get excited. After that, he said that dude would be more ready for the first work set.

The guy tried it out and said it worked pretty well. I looked real fast, but couldn’t find the topic to link it.


Here’s an article with over-warmups are #5.

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There is an aspect of my competitive bodybuilding that I have not covered. The individual posing routine, and specifically, the Night Show. When I started competing we were told there were three phases of the competition that were judged separately:

  1. Symmetry – Balance of muscle distribution – done with semi-relaxed quarter turns
  2. Muscularity – Muscle mass and definition – done during compulsory pose comparisons
  3. Presentation – How well you present your physique – done during the individual posing routine

It didn’t take me too many contests to figure out that the individual posing routine contributed about nothing concerning your placement. The judges had made their placements during the compulsory poses. Being a NPC national Judge, that it how I saw it actually transpire and removed any doubt. There would have to be an absolute tie for me to make a final determination after the individual posing. Sometimes the promoter might run the individual posing after the quarter turns, and to be followed with comparisons. But the bottom line is that the competition was over after the comparisons at pre-judging. The Night Show was just that, a show. (Sure, the overall winner of the class winners was live at the Night Show.)

The first bodybuilding contest I did was held after a powerlifting meet about midnight on a high school basketball court, with lights hung from a raised basketball backboard. We stood on a small platform. There was no music. The gracious thing was there was no wait from the pre-judging to the night show, because there was no pre-judging, just plain judging. I did a few contests with no music for each competitor’s individual posing routine. By 1975, it seemed as though there was music for every individual posing routine during the night show. In most all cases I remember there was no music in the pre-judging when doing your individual posing routine.

While I didn’t much care for the night show, it seemed that the vast majority of competitors felt it was the time everything just had to go just right. Maybe they had family and friends in attendance. Some seemed to feel this was the time to show the judges what they had. Some had stage fright, but most all made it on stage and managed to get through it. Some were totally amped and really got into it. Some were horrible posers. Some were fine tuned with their routine.

The audience would respond, mostly as supporters of the contestant they knew, but some competitors were good enough to involve a large percentage of the crowd.

The funniest audience story started in northeast Florida. There was a guy who wanted to be a good bodybuilder, but lacked much genetics to get there. I remember the first contest he did, that I happened to be competing in. He didn’t have much muscle and was too high in body fat to look anything like a competitor. I encouraged him to focus on his diet and keep plugging away in the weight room. Over the next couple years he had dieted down to the lightweight class. He went to most every show within driving distance. He still had very little muscle. Over the years he acquired the nickname, “Tumbleweed.” Once he turned 35 years old and competing in the Over 35 contests he began to accumulate a large number of trophies, where though he trophied, he came in last place in his class. The crowd really got into ribbing him, as he continued to accumulate even more trophies. I believe he just missed getting a trophy in a national contest even coming in last.

To be continued…