Perhaps a dumb set of questions. Bear with me if so.
We know that supraphysiolgical testosterone levels promote increased muscle growth and enhanced nutrient partitioning.
We also know that supraphysiological exogenous testosterone and growth hormone administration will improve peak anaerobic output. I’m thinking specifically, here, of the 2010 study by Dr. Ken Ho, et al, that showed the equivalent of a 0.4 improvement in the 100 meters with 8 weeks of GH usage, and nearly double that with co-administration of testosterone (http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=745760). This, despite the fact that the GH alone didn’t add to muscle mass directly, so there was presumably some other mechanism at play (other than larger muscles) that accounted for the improved anaerobic performance for the GH-only group.
However, I’m weighing this against a 2009 study by West, et al, that asserted that an increase in endogenous testosterone (and GH and IGF-1) levels through high-intensity leg exercises did not affect the rate of anabolic signaling or protein synthesis - the group with high testosterone levels, from the extra test-boosting exercises immediately after doing curls did not build muscle or increase their strength any more than the group that just performed the curls (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19736298). I’m also thinking of another study, that I can’t remember exactly, that showed that women - with many times less testosterone - grew muscle at the same rate as men when resistance training. The extra testosterone for men didn’t give them any increase in proportional muscle growth or proportional muscle strength.
Finally, I’m remembering a paper by Peter Weyand that casually mentioned that the likely reason for women’s proportionally-slower top sprinting speed was their increased fat mass, rather than anything to do with neuromuscular or strength benefits of testosterone. He mentioned that the difference between men and women’s world records in the 100, 200, and 400 meters is roughly 10% - and men and women tend to have similar differences in fat mass.
Developing on that: it seems that exogenous testosterone administration boosts women’s performance more than men’s, especially at higher dosages. I’m thinking of the fact that so many women’s track and field world records from the 1980s are still untouchable. Back then, it was easier to go with super-duper physiological dosages and avoid detection than it is now, where I assume most professionals are on merely super dosages. Men, on the other hand, are still smashing world records that were set by obviously-assisted athletes from the 1980s.
So, my basic question is: what’s going on with all this?
Does testosterone provide any immediate boost to muscular strength/power output that is independent of any muscular hypertrophy gains?
1a) If testosterone does not provide any such effect within the physiological ranges, does it do so at supraphysiological levels? If so, what’s the difference?
Does testosterone function differently vis a vis muscular(/neuromuscular) strength and hypertrophy improvements between men and women?
2a) If not, does it do so at suprahysiological levels in some different way?
Would TRT that takes a man from below-normal into the normal or high normal range have any or many noticeable effects on muscle size or strength/power output? That is, a guy going from 200 to 900 ng/dl Total, 50 to 220 Free T - would he see a similar proportional boost in hypertrophy or athletic performance as a guy going from 700 to 3,150?
Maybe this belongs in Pharma, but I thought I’d ask it here because there are so many guys going on TRT or SERMs that cite insufficient workout results as at least one reason for wanting to boost their T. Is there reason to believe that anyone will see significant improvements if they never get above the physiological range?