To Start TRT or Not?

I’ve been chatting a good bit with a member here lately about possibly starting TRT. He has been incredibly helpful and informative, but with such a huge, life changing decision, I figured I would ask others as well. I’m just trying to figure out if TRT is the right choice for me. I posted in this section as my need is not the standard TRT need, but more that of a cycle oriented need. @iron_yuppie , @dextermorgan, @Singhbuilder, @zeek1414, @unreal24278, @blshaw

I’ve been lifting for 10 years now, went from 135lbs to 170-175 < 8%BF naturally. I have run three cycles:

  1. Test E 500 weekly for 10 weeks. Gained 20lbs+, maintained 10lbs.
  2. A full 12 months later, ran the same cycle but with 30mg DBol for four weeks at the beginning. Gained 20lbs, and maintained another 10lbs.
  3. Only 12 weeks after ending PCT from cycle 2, I started another cycle. 13 weeks Test E and 7 weeks of anavar at 50mg a day for the last 7 weeks of the cycle. I gained ~10lbs, and only maintained ~3lbs. I did not eat my standard 4200+ calories during this last cycle. I ate my normal off cycle diet of ~3500 calories. I wanted to see how my body reacted and recovered, as well as how much I maintained without changing diet.

Post Labs Cycle 1: entirely bounced back to my normal 550 TT, SHBG 33,FT 12.7 ng/dL.

Post Labs Cycle 2: Test went way up , 745 TT, 17.6 pg/ML, SHBG 46 NMOL

Post Labs Cycle 3 : Total T 794, have not had the rest run until next week.

I desperately miss the muscle fullness / glycogen storage from being on cycles. With that fullness comes a ton more confidence, better mood, more motivation, I just feel so much better. QUESTION: is this because of the 500mg weekly? Do those of you who run 150-200mg weekly TRT dose, do you still have some of that muscle fullness?

I am 5’10 and ~195lbs. I’m at 24.75 on the FFMI, and wonder if that’s partly why after my past two cycles that I have reached 205-208 during cycle, I have dropped down to low and mid 190s. I am confident in my diet and training. BIG QUESTION: Can I continue to run these 12-14 week cycles, and continue to gain KEEPABLE muscle? Or will my natural levels once off cycle, continue to keep me from getting bigger?

I want to be in that 210-220 range. I’m starting to believe the only way this is feasible is TRT. PCT is obviously not that fun, but I can 100% mentally get through it. Even after I’m “recovered” though, I still miss the fullness, the confidence, the added motivation.

I am 32 years old, my labs seem to be pretty okay, so no genuine need for TRT. However the gym is a huge part of my life, my wife and kids come first, the gym comes second. This will never end, as it has cured my depression, anxiety, and OCD. The gym saved my life, and if I go even a few days without it, I am miserable. The lifetime commitment does not scare me, although some of the potential “risks” do.

I do have genetic high cholesterol. My LDL since I was 15 years old has been 220-250, HDL 40, but triglycerides always 60-70. Through the use of Red yeast rice, niacin, fish oil, krill oil, I have managed to get my LDL into the 150s, my HDL sadly is 35, and drops lower when on 500mg of Test.

Below is a picture of me ON cycle in week 10 (left), and then 6 weeks or so After finishing PCT. sorry my dates might be slightly off.

Any advice on whether to run another few cycles to possible get up to that 210-220 mark, or to start TRT and then maybe in 6-12 months start some blasts in order to get there, would be much appreciated. I know I haven’t run anything crazy, I want to do things as “safely” as I can. I have been contemplating a Primo/Test/Var cycle this winter, or toying with the idea or a Tren Cycle. My biggest fear though is losing the vast majority of the size once i come off. Is TRT really necessary to maintain the size that I am after?

Thank you

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150mg no… 200mg… yes, not to the same extent as 250mg test 20mg dbol, but yes

If you have familial hypercholesterolemia then toying with tren (aside from numerous other risks) or anavar/orals is a terrible idea

My genetics for cholesterol aren’t great, but for reference on 250mg my HDL is around 43, ldl around 110, triglycerides were absurdly low… like 40 or something which is surprising as I eat a TON of fatty meat/greasy foods like fried chicken wooooot #atherosclerosis #myocardialinfarctionat25

I probably eat fried chicken like 3x monthly, since I’m on holiday it’s now like 2x weekly, or every day if I’m staying in a hostel (bouncing around from accomodation from family members and being in hostels paying for everything) in which case fast food is very cheap

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Haha, I absolutely hate friend chicken. Burgers and pizza are about the only two unhealthy meals I eat on a regular basis. The rest is the typical eggs, oatmeal, rice, chicken, turkey, sweet potato, broccoli, avocado. Same boring stuff every single day.

I would kill for your cholesterol levels. They are the only thing that worries me and gets in my head when it comes to this stuff.

I do understand that Tren is risky, especially with my poor lipid profile. It’s partly why I’ve been reluctant, and why I wonder if TRT wouldn’t enable me to run more mild “blasts” to get to where I want and then maintain. Things like Primo, and low dose DBol or anavar. Dbol surprisingly didn’t affect my lipids in those 4 weeks at 30mg. Not sure how much longer i could have gone, but I did get labs done mid way through week 4 which showed no real changes in my LDL/HDL.

If you don’t like Kentucky fried chicken we aren’t friends sir

That’s the worst offender for me, I eat that about 1x every 2 months (because that’s a hell of a lot worse than just home made fried chicken or even fried chicken from the majority of fast food chains… I believe it’s been proven KFC is the worst of them all, the sodium content from two wings is about a days worth of intake if I recall correctly)

Avocado isn’t boring to me btw, it’s one of my favourite foods. I can eat entire avocados… multiple avocados in one sitting alongside other food. Over eating is my biggest downfall (of the wrong foods)

As to burgers… if the burger has fried chicken, bacon or chilli/hot sauce I’m down

I have literally never had KFC, but just looking at fried, greasy chicken makes me want to puke. Cannot stand the sight of it, seriously. I’ll eat an entire large pizza in 10 minutes no problem, or 8 patties on two buns from In N Out, but I won’t touch fried chicken :rofl:

Go eat some Australian of South African kfc dammit… eat a burger from them if you dislike the chicken (in Aus their chips as the best too), chips are French fries btw. It’s terroble for you so I shouldn’t be advocating this but it’s soooo good. Never liked KFC from America or the UK

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there’s nothing wrong with our KFC pal!

My general advice is to avoid TRT if possible. Your test seems pretty decent at first glance but then when you factor in your moderately high SHBG you are probably more mid range on the FT. Either way its definitely adequate IMO and sans low T symptoms I would abstain from it until you’re older and your levels drop off naturally (that or from continued cycling).

I don’t have the same muscle fullness as cycling but I run 140mg/wk. That puts me in the mid to upper range of natural levels. That is TRT though. Many confuse blast and cruise with TRT. IMO these are two different animals. Many ‘cruise’ on doses that are still higher than TRT such as the 200-250mg range per week. For most this is well above natural levels. Hell, even most TRT clinics keep guys above natural levels facilitating the need for more drugs like AIs… equals more profits for the clinic etc. But I digress.

This is the same conundrum I am in. I’m shorter than you but about the same weight. I cycle and reach 200-205lbs and then off cycle settle down to 190lbs. I feel the problem is Im not willing to cycle more than 2x per year and I’m not willing to get aggressive with those cycles. In order to gain and then maintain continuing additions of weight you, and I, would have to cycle more often and increase dosages / run more aggressive compounds.

Pretty much as stated above… you will have to cycle more often IMO or jump on a cruise dose. I am not willing to do either as I have a wife and two kids. They are more important to me than increasing my risk so I am settling with a couple test blasts per year with maybe an oral thrown in.

That’s very very interesting. So even with you being on TRT you find yourself unable to keep most of what you gain now that you’re at a certain size. I was really hoping TRT could be the fix for this issue and enable me to keep climbing up the scale. How many calories do you eat on a normal day? Do you feel like nothing else changes from blast to cruise, your body just literally don’t maintain the larger size?

I may try to do one more cycle at around 5k calories daily. Run it a bit longer. And hope for the best. But dropping back below 200 is such a horrible feeling during PCT I’m not sure the money, and the risks are worth maybe adding a couple pounds.

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Correct. It takes about 3 months after finishing the cycle but I slowly lose a couple lbs a month until I settle back down to my TRT weight.

I normally eat around 3200 calories a day. I don’t count every day, but I do set meal goals based on a calorie target and try to maintain those meal goals to hit those target until I need adjustment. For example I can fluxuate about 7-10 lbs on TRT alone with diet. For spring/summer I try to cut down a bit <190 by a few lbs and in the fall winter I try to bulk a bit >190lb by a few lbs.

That’s a lot of calories. Even on test if I go too high I just get fat faster rather than build additional muscle. You look naturally leaner than I though. I’m in the same boat as far as deciding if continue blasting is worth it. I’m actually pretty fine with my 190lb weight though as I’m only 5’7" tall. I like the ‘sound’ of 200lbs so its where I would ultimately want to be but I tend to carry more body fat than I like at that weight so… :confused:

Interesting. I lose my size after a cycle within weeks. The size and fullness goes down, my strength on drops a bit though. If I Up my calories during PCT, it doesn’t help much, that’s when I seem to put on some fat (or I go back to the not on cycle me of fat level). I lean out a bit on cycle, then get a bit softer looking after, although I do stay pretty lean. My metabolism is sky high.
Might be too much info, but I shit 5 times a day, like full size shits. I have since a child and doctor has always reassured me it’s totally fine. But 3500 calories is roughly my maintenance. If I Up my calories while not on cycle though, I definitely gain more fat than anything, and haven’t been too successful maintaining muscle above the 195 size even at higher calorie intakes. It’s hard for me to do any cardio at all, as I lose weight very quickly. It’s a good and bad problem to have.

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Just here to say: Popeyes > KFC

Also thinking about going down to a cruise dose after this cycle rather than coming off. I’m pretty conflicted, so this topic is a perfect read for me.


My TT was almost 600 pre-trt and TRT has been nothing short of life changing for me. I’ve been on 200mg and have been for a while now. Look at huge guys like physiolojik who are 250-270lbs @ 10% bf using 200-250mg between cycles to maintain size. I think TRT is the logical next step.

My lipids haven’t changed a bit since TRT. Dude your chest is impressive as fuck. I couldn’t imagine what you’d look like with another 20lbs on you. You’d likely have to invest in new doorways.

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@dextermorgan, Thank you man, this is kind of what I was hoping to hear. My levels are decent, but I truly feel less than good on a daily basis. I’ve always been a tired person, I’ve always lacked confidence; and I’ve ways felt scrawny. Those all disappear on cycle, would love them to go away at just 200mg, or at least major improvements.

Had you ever run a cycle before doing TRT? How is your fullness / glycogen storage while on just 200mg? Do you feel more full just From your TRT dose?

Thank you again for the compliment, hoping to get back to that left side photo and beyond one of these days soon.

Mentally I feel like John Wayne when I walk into a room. My confidence is through the roof and I just feel like I always wished I had felt. I delt with mild/moderate depression most of my life. Not suicidal or anything like that just like a grey tint on the world. Since being on TRT I came off the antidepressant I was taking (wellbutrin) and have felt great. I can’t explain the difference it’s made for without sounding like I’m over selling TRT. Granted it took me some trial & error to get to this level of feel optimal.

Body-wise TRT has made it easier to keep fat off even with a less than ideal diet. I had surgery two months ago and basically wasn’t able to go to the gym for 6 weeks and I lost zero muscle mass as far as I can tell and my strength is still there. I don’t feel much different on 200mg than I do at 500mg and definitely get the muscle fullness like on cycle (that thick look). I gained a lot of water weight when I started TRT (14 lbs by week 6) but it went away after about 3-4 months and has never returned. The only real difference I feel between 200mg & 500mg is libido gets a little higher. On 200mg libido is borderline too high already.

I’m legitimately a better version of myself on TRT and other people around me notice it. You sound very similar to myself (except you’re a human bulldozer) and I definitely think you’d get a lot from TRT. I haven’t run a cycle since being on TRT because I haven’t wanted to jeopardize how great I feel but since I’ve been able to retain this feeling for a while now I’m I think that will change soon.

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You and I sound incredible similar since I joined here and started reading your posts. I was on antidepressants through my entire teenage years, I have pubertal gyno, we’ve had many similar issues. Although my T levels are decent, I have always struggled with that anxiety, depression, self conscious, lack of confidence. I “feel” bigger and better on cycle. When I come off, I go back to feeling like my body dysmorphic self where I feel as though no one can even tell I lift weights. I still have that skinny kid syndrome as i was 24 years old and 135lbs. I still feel that’s me… if that makes sense. But on cycle, I feel like a beast.

I’m getting lab work done again end of next week and I’ll make sure I post an update.

@aaronca That’s crazy we sound very similar! If you need a really easy going doc my email is in the bio. Good luck bro

Physiologik during his competitive phases cruises on 200mg tren year round or something like that…

Then he was on 300mg test year round

Should also be mentioned to gain the initial mass he used numerous compounds, hgh, insulin etc

He worked very hard, and I’m not discrediting him… however the average joe wouldn’t be able to put on or maintain dr sir levels of mass on 250mg

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Thankfully I do not want to be that big, by any means. I do have the utmost appreciation and respect for physiques like his though. Absolute animal. I am willing to take a couple “risks” with possibly a Tren cycle, or multiple primo cycles with high dose primo and an oral in order to get to my desired size. I have about 20lbs to go, and fully understand it will take some serious work to get there. I just absolutely do not want to continue taking those risks, and spending that money, if I’ll continue to lose the majority of my gains due to going back to natural levels.

@dextermorgan email incoming this evening!

The spicy fried chicken is top notch. Where I’m from you can get a two piece meal with side, bisquet and drink for $4.99 Monday through Thursday. it is close to work, so I get this far to often.

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