T Nation

TRT and Weight Loss/Gain?


I'm new to TRT and was curious about how TRT affects weight loss or gain. From my research here and on other sites I know I need to first find that "sweet" spot regarding my hormone levels. Once and if that is accomplished what can I expect as far as results. I'm 36 yrs old, 6'00" at 195lbs. I don't want to gain mass but would love to lose about 10 or 15 pounds and get ripped. I think I've already gained a few pounds which is what I don't want while on TRT. Any advise on this subject?



First thought would be E2 too high,if you feel like it's fat or feel bloated.You could've also gained some muscle,are you working out? As I'm sure you know muscle weighs much more than fat.These two issuses would be first guess since you said this happened shortly after starting trt.Have you been eating more than normal lately?Just a starting point.The very experienced users on here could be very helpful if you post lab numbers.


TRT will not get you ripped. Only proper diet will do that. And training.


But is it easier to get 'ripped' whilst on TRT?


Granted, if your hormone levels are in line, it will be easier to accomplish your fitness goals. But it still takes good diet, hard work, and determination. I think too many guys go into TRT with unrealistic expectations and then are dissapointed and frustrated when they do not see the changes they were expecting. The changes are real, but subtle, manifesting themselves over a period of months and even years. The correct way a guy should approach TRT is from a standpoint of long-term health and the benefits associated with that.

db2000 - from your standpoint, I think you will see benefits because you are already putting in the effort and are looking for an edge to push you that extra few percent. TRT can do that. But true body recomposition comes mainly from changes in diet and training intensity. A guy who sits on the couch all day eating junk food is not going to become suddenly ripped just because he is on TRT. I'm not saying that this is the case for the OP, I'm just making a point.


When T levels decline, one can loose muscle and get flabby. TRT for some will cut fat and lead to muscle gain with no net change in weight. Waist size can go down. Training not needed. One then drifts towards a more youthful body shape. One's general health, activity level and diet is a major factor.

TRT can help one's training and muscle gain. But if genetics wants you to not make large muscle gains, then you will not.

Forget this ripped crap, TRT doses does not do that.

Do you have a hormone problem at all?


Hey KSman,
Ya I do have low T at, 212. We've pm'd each other and based on my labs it seems I'm a good candidate for TRT. Been on Testim for a month and really am not sure if it's working or not. Will probably get new blood work soon even though DR wants me to give it some more time before I retest.

My main concern though after all the internet research is how can we truly know what is causing the low T. At this early stage in the game I'm still worried that there may be some test out there that I need to take that may reveal my cause of low T.

From your experience, can something like an undiganosed food allergy for example be the root cause for low T or would it need to be something more substantial. It just seems like there are endless variables out there that can throw off the balance of our bodies.



If you blood levels of T do not respond to Testim [what dose?], that can be caused by some degree of hypothyroidism, which can also be the cause of low T for some guys. If you have and TSH or T4/T3 data - post it. Non absorption of transdermal T is a symptom of hypothyroidism.

Which leads to your dietary iodine intake.

The stickies discuss other causes of low T. Pituitary adinomas, pituitary damage from blows to the head. Loss/reduction of peripheral vision etc. Problem can be testes and/or pituitary. LH/FSH labs help sort that out. But you cannot do that when on TRT, must be part of pre-TRT workup.

You can find causes of low T that cannot be fixed.


KSman is the guru on this so Id suck up everything you can that he has said. I dropped like 30 pounds on HRT within I think 6 months, I should have kept better track and do not feel like looking through my doctors records to give you an exxact timeline....however, I am starting to gain weight again but I think its because Im able to work out more....and I dropped down to pretty much the exact weight I was prior to having a medical nightmare that killed my hormones and immune system...so I think putting me on HRT helped my body readjust and go back to where it normally was, albeit at a higher BF% but then again there is no way Im going to be able to train as hard, intense, as often as I was prior to health issues that kept me around 240ish and 10% BF....

All this stuff about people getting ripped or jacked and bigger than they have ever been on HRT to me seems like a weak excuse or legal loophole for guys to be juicing....if you have health issues HRT is supposed to bring you back to a good normal for you as I understand it....if your in your 30s, 40s, 60s like the doctors on the commercials who say they are more athletic and muscular than ever in their life, thats bending HRT to me or you didnt train or play sports in your teens and 20s....your natural hormones and nervous system are prime in late teens early 20s, if your 40 or 50+ and jacked more than you were when you were 20, you must have been a pretty lazy ass not getting after it. Im on HRT and will never be where I was in my 20s and even at 30, and Im only 35 now.


I feel like this last part of your statement though is just a cop out/not willing to work hard enough. I know plenty of guys older then you who are in awesome shape. You have to eat, lift, and train right. Hell, you have to live right.


Boat wrote: "I feel like this last part of your statement though is just a cop out/not willing to work hard enough. I know plenty of guys older then you who are in awesome shape. You have to eat, lift, and train right. Hell, you have to live right."

bluecollarjock wrote: "Im on HRT and will never be where I was in my 20s and even at 30, and Im only 35 now."

Boat: You took things out of context of "having a medical nightmare that killed..." You would not want to walk in bluecollarjock's shoes.


Thanks KSman...appreciate that....and know too your still in my prayers as you fight your battles.

I guess I might not have made part of my point well enough in addition to the fact I had medical issues....generally speaking most of all of us probably have our peak hormonal cocktail, as well as our nervous system peak, in our late teens and early 20s...most "thoroughbred" athletes are cranking at this time, and will peak in strength, speed, power, and Id imagine muscle mass to some degree because certain fibers your not going to tap into unless your hitting high velocity training at moderate to high loads, and/or just heavy ass loads that you might not be moving as fast....Olympic and many power athletes in professional ranks will peak well before they are 30, let alone their late 30s, 40s, and 50s +....if this doesnt make sense maybe I need a cup of coffee to clear my head and explain it to boatnerj better...I know myself even if someone waved a magic wand and healed up my medical problems, I could probably do cycles of steroids, and not be powercleaning and squatting what I did in my 20s, it just wouldnt happen, or the wheels would come off...you cant take steroids as far as I know to regain the prime of your nervous system for speed and power...and your body can only take so much pounding. Myself I was an overtrainer my entire life and even as I regain my health will still probably struggle with training SMARTER not always harder, as Ive lived the lifestyle of an athlete to the extreme until I had issues (which were caused by doctors mistakes but never the less took me down a few pegs)...

If your idea of peaking is abs and general fitness, sure...but when I see posts here or other forums, TV commercials of those old doctors, etc, of guys who say they now are stronger in the gym, more ripped, carrying more muscle mass then ever before in their life....to me, that means A) you were not pushing it when you had your prime hormonal and nervous system environment for training, and/or B) you were training really really stupid, and/or C) maybe you are not that much lower than your natural hormone levels and got on HRT in a fashion either with the intent to or it unintentionally occuring, that you are now at higher levels than you ever were naturally in the first place. It just doesnt make sense to me from the perspective of someone who has spent most of my life around people who have been pushing themselves for peak performance-which is a fine line between overtraining and tinkering with periodization during seasons of sport or life, juggling new or recent injuries, managing nagging old injuries that never go away, trying to find that personal limit one can take their mind and body....so "peaking" athletically in your 40s and beyond is suspect on "needing HRT" to me.


Besides the "clinical" dianoses that KSman laid out, low testosterone can also be caused by poor eating and exercise habits. The combination of being insulin resistant and failing to get sufficient anaerobic/aerobic exercise will result in increased SHBG (SHBG will bind to T, disallowing it to bind to AR's, aka androgen receptors). Often times we (society) look for a single grandular dysfunction or "test" to prove something. When, more often than not, being chronically deficient and toxic is to blame (deficient in nutrients and exercise and toxins that disrupt our endocrine system).

Just so we are clear, I am not referring to the RDA of nutrient, as those are 3-6+ times LOWER than anthropological data (check out Boyd Eaton, MD) shows the AVERAGE hunter gatherer consumed... we have the same genes, BTW. I cannot get into an exhaustive list but a zinc deficiency (leydig cells cannot produce T withit it) is just one of hundreds. Not eating enough wild game, for instance, in an evermore anti-red meat, pro-soy (high phytic acid blocks zinc absorption), can contribute to low zinc levels.

Personally, I ate extremely well and supplemented, yet I found out it was the stress of building my business that did me in. Years of very high cortisol and insufficient exercise. When I finally had the time to train regularly again, my T levels just did not recover (looking back) and I had no choice but to go on TRT.


OP, nobody ever got ripped on cypionate. I have gained close to 30lb since beginning TRT in 2 years. finally some results from lifting after all these years. however, trying to cut sucks. the weight just doesn't want to come off anymore and I may be ignorant about what the research says, but from my own personal experience, it is harder. It may be due to co-factors like I am older now, metabolism is slower, yada yada, but I have also built more muscle, which should have elevated my resting metabolism etc etc.
Just my 2cents.


What ester you use for TRT is irrelavent to BF gain/loss; it's about keeping blood levels stable and ensuring you have enough T to stay healthy while keeping E in check. Long acting esters can be administered in less frequency than short esters or orals but the the end results is the same.

All things equal (T and E are where they should be) your weight loss is symply thermodynamics/nutrient quality and due to other factors like stress. Excess cortisol will not only cause you to secrete more insulin (read, store BF or inhibit reduction) but will increase insulin resistance, making weight loss hard. Also, John Berardi found science showing that between an active 20 yr old and an active 60 yr, a less than 5% drop in metablism!!! Metabolism is not directly correlatd with aging, but our society is so deficient and toxic that relationship is there, when it should not be until well into the 80 or 90's.

Also, falling D levels are correlated with age (in America) so be sure you support your thyroid with optimal D (50 or higher on the range).

After the above is met, best advice is to get your carbs down below 30% of your diet, if not 20% and your bodies lipolytic (fat burning) pathways must engage, therefore increasing likelyhood of BF reduction with a net caloric deficit; obviously activity is critical too.


Please explain or link "support your thyroid with optimal vit-D"


I did a google search for - Thyroid Vitamin D - and came back with hundreds of results and links.

here are two samples:



everything in the body is connected - any sub-ideal levels of anything - Thyroid, Cortisol, Vitamin D, CHOL, B12, Testosterone, Ferritin, Albumin, Folate, Prolactin, ACTH, LH, FSH, etc. etc. etc. will have cascading impacts on every other function in the body either directly or indirectly.


I often think that some associations of low vit-D status to medical conditions is not causative but an effect.

If one's diet is bad, this can lead to problems and one of these can be low vit-D status.

If one has a a gut/bowel disease, one might not be absorbing dietary vit-D.

If one does not get out of doors because of a medical condition, there will not be any vit-D from sun exposure.

Vit-D is vital to general well-being. Some claims and associations are irresponsible hype. Should people in the above situations take more vit-D? Absolutely. But the implication that some conditions are the result of low vit-D is often wrong. Sadly, LEF.org is very guilty too.

Vit-D is converted to Vit-D25, a steroid hormone, that is needed for proper gene expression in the cells.


There are studies that show a clear linear relationship with D levels and body weight (and obviously body fat, generally). Optimal D levels certainly affect many processes including thyroid hormones which regulate body weight. In my practice I find it better to optimize items with clear implications that are relatively easy first (i.e. vit D supplemention), then go to a clinician if problems persist.


I gained 8 lbs. in 3 months of TRT but I look like I have lost weight and now look more fit. Some fat melted away and muscle increased. This was with no change in eating habits or lifestyle. My body now responds to lite exertion with physical stimulation instead of rapid fatigue. If you have been living right but not getting the expected results this should change with TRT.