T Nation

Started TRT My Progress So Far


#1

I just turned 42 in October.

I do 1 hour of fasted cardio in the morning 3 days a week. Do a few basic lifts 2 times a week, though this isn't a focus for me and I rarely make any progress. I train Martial Arts 4 nights a week, I've been training for over 20 years. So having a deep gas tank is very important to me, having big muscles isn't very important to me.

So anyways, I did 2 cycles of RPN Havoc/Epistane in 2011-2012, just before it was banned. I was amazed at the results and ability to recover. I did PCT well, but pretty much lost everything I gained within a few months. I'm pretty sure my testosterone was crushed after, as I had no energy and was sore all the time. I should have never messed with it.

I had blood work done for free at my gym in 2014 and my testosterone was around 450. I figured that was fine, so I didn't pursue TRT.

In 2016, I started feeling extremely fatigued, I wasn't able to recover from my workouts, my weight was creeping up with no change in my diet, and I was always in a shitty mood.
I had blood work done again and it came back:
Testosterone Total: 254
Estradiol: 6.7
Calc Free Test: 4.81
Free Test: 1.9

In general, I have no patience for most doctors. I didn't want to get the run-around trying to get this sorted out. I made an appointment for an anti aging clinic and was able to get an appointment the next day. I gave the doctor my lab results and told him my medical history. He wanted to check a few more things like my red blood cell count, vitamin D, and my PSA levels. The new lab work confirmed that my test is low, my red blood cell count is fine, and my prostate is healthy. My estrogen is low, the doc said that might be the cause for my body/joint soreness.

The anti aging clinic does not take insurance, the lab work is covered, the prescriptions are covered, but the appointments to see the doctor are not. The cost for the first 1 hour meeting was $500, then $250 a month after that. It is somewhat expensive, but it is worth it if I can stop feeling like shit all the time. I have the money, so it was a no brainer for me.

After reviewing all of my lab results, the doc said I qualified for TRT. We discussed the protocol options and decided on starting with just testosterone. Then see where my estrogen is after a month. I don't want kids, so no HCG.

He suggested 200mg of testosterone cypionate, split into two injections a week. 100mg Sunday morning and 100mg Wednesday evening.

On October 27th, he gave me 200mg of testosterone cypionate, which I injected into my upper thigh in office. Within 2 days, I felt much better physically. But I was bloated as hell. My weight jumped from 220lbs to 230lbs in a week. I started getting anxiety while driving in traffic and could feel my heart pounding at the slightest aggravation. I emailed the doctor and he said that my estrogen likely jumped up with the increased test. He said that it is not unexpected, my estrogen was low to start. He said to try to wait a week and see if it balanced out on its own. I had a bit of gynecomastia on one side when I was 19 years old. I had it cut out when I was in the Military. I started feeling tingling and itching under that nipple.

A week later I was 232lbs with no diet change, and still had the anxiety while driving, but nothing I could not control. The doctor sent me a script for arimidex, 1mg twice a week. He told me to take the arimidex at the same time as the injections. The arimidex seemed to fix the anxiety, itchy nipple :slight_smile: and some of the bloat. My weight dropped to 226lbs. But the join pain returned.

I had my first follow up appointment last week. The lab work showed my estrogen was <.5, basically undetectable. My testosterone was 948. My red blood cell count was unchanged. The doc suggested I cut the arimiex down to .5mg twice a week and keep the test the same at 100 mg twice a week. He suggested I take the arimidex 36 hours after my test injection to sync up the absorption timing.

My heart rate while doing cardio at the gym (20 minutes stair mill, 20 elliptical, 20 minutes walking at 20 degrees incline ) is about 10 bpm faster than before starting TRT. Possibly due to the added bodyweight? My lifts have gone up significantly. ie, my incline bench press was always at 185lbs for 5x5. The last set being a fricken struggle. Now I can do 205lbs for 5x5 fairly easy.

This is what my measurements were before trt and now.

October 27th, started TRT
200mg/wk of Testosterone Cypionate
Height 6ft
Weight 220lbs
Neck 17
Shoulders 50
Chest 46.5
Left bi 15.5
Right bi 15.5
Left forearm 12.25
Right forearm 12.5
Stomach 42
Waist 40
Left thigh 24.5
Right thigh 25.5
Left calf 16
Right calf 15.75

December 1, 2016
200mg/wk of Testosterone Cypionate
1mg/wk Arimidex
Height 6ft
Weight 226lbs
Neck 17
Shoulders 51.5
Chest 46
Left bi 16.25
Right bi 16.25
Left forearm 12.75
Right forearm 13
Stomach 40
Waist 39
Left thigh 26
Right thigh 26
Left calf 16
Right calf 15.75


#2

Those are some nice gains bro. How are you feeling with regards to anxiety? Is your Estrogen under control? I'm surprised your doc started you on 200mg of Test straight away. Typical dose is 100-125 and assess from there but it seems to have gotten your numbers in a very good range.


#3

Yes. The arm increase has been surprising. I have not done any direct arm workouts. Just incline bench, shoulder press, rows, and high pulls. I hardly ever do anything for legs. They would always be too fatigued from the stair mill to do any extra work. But yesterday I did a few sets of trap bar deadlifts and am not sore at all today. The recovery is amazing.

The anxiety is pretty much gone away now. I cut out the hotrox. I use to take it everyday before my morning cardio. But the yohimbe always made me jumpy. I think until I get my test and estro balanced out, I'll go without. I do miss the boost though.

I was also surprised he started me at 200mg a week. I even messaged him before sticking myself just to make sure.

I'm not sure about the estrogen yet, it's been 4 days since I have taken any arimidex. My weight jumped back up to 232lbs this weekend. But that is likely due to eating like crap. I'll take .5mg tonight.

The blood work was take. 72 hours after my injection, so my testosterone levels were likely higher the day before.

I hit 215lbs on incline bench for 5x5 yesterday and still had some more left in me I think. That is up from barely getting 185lbs last month.

The weight gain has been messing with my head. I've always had to struggle to keep my weight down. So gaining that weight so quickly has a negative psychological effect on me. Even though I know it isn't all fat, that my waist has decreased and my shoulders have increased. Maybe that's the estrogen coming back...making me worry like a girl. Haha


#4

Your journey is similar to mine in some ways. I've been on TRT for a little over a year. My doc started me at 100mg/week, then 150, then 200 briefly. At 100mg my TT was about 500 and I didn't feel that great. At 150 I felt really good, but I also started arimidex. At 200, I felt bad and just went back down to 150.

I see a lot of guys get prescribed 1mg arimidex or more. I think they don't like to prescribe it in less than 1 mg doses because you would have to cut the pills or get a liquid. My doc doesn't believe in E2 management (I know, I know), so I do it on my own. At 150mg and 0.5 mg Adex a week, I'm pretty good. I found out the hard way, that 0.75 mg Adex a week is too much. Low E2 SUCKS a lot! I was so anxious and irritable, I couldn't stand myself.

I get joint pain when my E2 is low. It sounds like that's what happened to you as well. I'm curious to see how things work for you at 200 mg T per week. I'd like to try to stay at that dose, if I can manage the side effects.

It sounds like your doc let your E2 run wild and then crushed it with an overdose of Arimidex. Finding the sweet spot with E2 management has been WAY more important that T number for me and most guys.

Good luck and welcome to the club!


#5

Thanks for the feedback. Yeah I kinda panicked when my estro jumped up, giving me the bloating and nipple pain. I wanted it gone, so I think the doc gave me a bit too much Arimidex to just crush it back down. Then taper it to let it come back up under control.

What were your numbers


#6

My E2 was in the 50's before I started any AI while taking 140 mg T a week. I was bloated, emotional, and I had crippling ED.
Taking 0.5 mg Adex put me in the 30's and I felt really good.

A lot of guys said the sweet spot is near 20, so I went up to 0.75 mg Adex weekly and I started to feel really aggressive, anxious, and angry. I pulled blood for E2 and it was at 18. I cut out Adex for a month and then went back on 0.5 mg a week and got back on track. E2 went back to 30 and that's where I feel good.

Everyone is different though. I have a buddy on TRT. The clinic gives him 1 mg Arimedex a week and keeps his TT at 1000 at trough! His E2 is 18 and he likes it there. He feels good though, and that 's what counts.


#7

Low E2 is horrible. Cut down on the AI, or you will regret it later...I've heard of guys taking several months to get it back up after crashing it, and I've heard some never recover. Your numbers were almost exactly like mine pre-TRT. I have a good T>E2 conversion, and am not estrogen dominant, so I take 100mg wk, and don't need an AI. My E2 stays in the 20's. I crashed it for almost a year taking too much AI, and I really didn't get any good effects from the T until I got E2 back out of the dumpster! I'm thinking your body will take a little time to adjust to the higher hormone levels. Just be careful with the AI or you will negate the benefit of the higher T. You need E2.

I'd bet a dollar your original symptoms were actually caused by the low E2. (6.7) and not the lowish Testosterone.


#8

That very well could be. I would get very tired at the end of the day, to the point that I was nearly falling asleep at the wheel in my way home. That went away when I started the test, but came back as soon as I started the arimidex.


#9

Thats exactly what I'm talking about. I think my symptoms pre-TRT (low energy and brain fog) were from the very low E2 I had, not the barely low T. Taking T brings my E2 to optimal level but when I take an AI regularly it crashes E2. I only take an AI about once every two weeks and only take less than .5 mg. I have to be very careful not to crash E2.

Imagine this. You just threw yourself into puberty with one shot, and your body will need time to adjust to the higher T. Your E2 will go up, but it needs to, because it was very low before TRT. You are not like some guys with E2 dominance, with low T/High E2. Those guys need more AI to regulate conversion. I would recommend being very cautious with AI until you actually have a lab showing high E2.

One other thing that has really helped me in the last few months is B12. It has really done wonders for my energy level and that afternoon crash that I struggled with even after TRT.


#10

Thanks for the advice. I'll lay off the arimidex for a bit, see where my estrogen is on the next blood work.

I'm going overseas in a few weeks. My doc prescribed three 100ml vials to bring with me, that will get me through the trip. I'll have my blood work when I get back.

I have been feeling pretty great the last few days. Libido is through the roof. I lifted for 1.5 hours yesterday. I did a hour of cardio at 6am, then went back for another hour of cardio after work. My joint soreness has gone away and I'm not sore at all.


#11

Please read the stickies found here: https://forums.t-nation.com/t/about-the-t-replacement-category/38/2?u=ksman

  • advice for new guys
  • things that damage your hormones
  • protocol for injections
  • finding a TRT doc

You may be an Arimidex anastrozole over-responder and then would need 1/2mg/week in divided doses. Stop for 5 days then resume at this lower dose.

2mg anastrozole per week would be OK for normal responders on 200mg T per week.

When you get stable on anastrozole and E2, you will feel better. Then get labs. Target is E2=22pg/ml. Calculate refined anastrozole dose: New dose = old dose X E2 result/22.

Example, labs come back at 28pg/ml. New dose = .25mg twice a week X 28/22

Ofter the anastrozole dose cannot be cut out of a pill. There are liquid research chem products, but you can dissolve 1mg/ml in vodka and dispense by volume or in one drop increments.

Self inject twice a week and take 1/4mg anastrozole at that time.


#12

Got my labs back for this month. Well, 6 weeks since my last labs on November 23rd.
My testo total is 951, almost exactly the same as last time, which was 948.
After crashing out my Estradiol with the Arimidex, it is back up to 12.9. I have been taking 1/4 of a pill with my injections.
I am still injecting 100mg twice a week.

When I refilled my testosterone script, they gave me the small 1ml vials, but all have been able to get out of the bottle is a bit over 80cc. I have a bit left over in the 10ml bottle, but when that runs out I will be short. Any tips on getting all of the oil out of the small vials?


#13

Looks like you're going to need to further decrease the Arimidex, eh? How do you feel with E2 that low? I'm about to turn my pills into liquid using vodka and micro-dose as well, since 1mg per week had my E2 down to 8.1.


#14

I actually feel pretty good. But My E2 was 9 when I started TRT, and then crashed to nothing when I started the anti E. So 12.9 is the highest it has been in a long time.