T Nation

TRT At Normal Level to Gain Muscle?

If you are at normal level can you do this to increase muscle mass and strength?

If you’re not suffering from low-T, then TRT won’t increase muscle mass. Your genes are as important for the ability to put on muscle.

Bad idea and will not give you enough benefits

For muscle building people use cycles with all the dangers side effects and negatives needed to be considered first

The only way to gain muscle is to cycle 400mg for 12 weeks and PCT or stay on a TRT dose below 200mg off cycle. But the one thing most forget is what you eat and how much you eat. Lots of food plus a cycle will definitely give you muscle. Oh lets not forget… Heavy weights. When is it a good time to start running cycles? The answer is never. But if you insist, pharma section is full of great info.

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200mg over the course of a long ass time you’d likely gain more than you would without it but likely not mega gains. It would definitely be easier though. TRT is more about the other shit while steroids are for muscle gain.

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My experience is a little different, but I would say it depends on your situation. I have basically worked out my entire life… athletic build, not a muscle head… once I hit and went over 50 I found myself to be rapidly losing muscle and strength… I restarted TRT at 150/wk which brought my free t to the top of the reference level and after a 4 months continuing my same workout routine I not only recovered 5 years of muscle mass, but added some… In fact I may soon try and lower my dose as I want to maintain the athletic look and not look like a meathead. IMO if you are looking to gain muscle more naturally like a 20 year old TRT is great… If you want to turn into the hulk overnight, then roll your dice with roids… be careful…


What is your “normal” level? The Quest range is 250-1100 total and 35-155 free.

If you’re at a “normal level” and use testosterone, you’ll build muscle and strength. Yes. Because you’ve started a steroid cycle, not TRT.

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Depends on what your normal level is compared to your TRT dosage and what level that takes you to. If your ‘normal’ is on the low end, like 300, and your TRT dose takes you to 800 than yeah maybe. But if your ‘normal’ level is 600 and your TRT dose takes you to 800 then no. From an article I read a while back it was even stipulated that as long as you are in the normal range there isn’t much benefit in muscle building capability in going to a higher level within the normal range.

There are so many factors involved. How old are you? How long have you been lifting? Hell… 50 year olds that have never lifted a weight could get stronger and gain some muscle even at normal or low T levels if they are stimulating a muscle in a way it has never been stimulated before. On the other hand if you are 50 and been lifting for 35 years it is unlikely you will see significant, if any gains if you raise your TT from say 400 to 1000.

TRT allows you to have constant levels whereas natural decent levels will drop when you don’t get great sleep, go on a bender, have a horrible diet, etc. TRT is an advantage even if you did enough to keep your levels at what they tested at naturally. It comes with some negatives though so it’s not a free ride by any means and it can be a whole bitch to get feeling how you want to feel on TRT especially in the beginning. Don’t do it unless you really know what you’re getting into beforehand.



My total T is 1068, within the normal range of quest labs, hardly considered cycle territory, and I’ve been steadily putting on muscle while eating well and training hard. I don’t need to run any cycles. I have more than enough testosterone in my body to allow for muscle growth if I put in the effort with training and diet.

The biggest difference now is I retain the mass I have put on much more easily compared to before as I had a measurable deficiency that was quite apparant.


Why do you keep changing your numbers depending on the post you are responding to? You just said your levels were 1068 in the past but they are now 1200 and lab ranges have the high end in the 700’s. Now you are 1068 and below the top of the range?

Have you lifted your whole life with proper sleep and nutrition? Anyone can gain muscle without TRT even with low T if they have never worked out and are putting a new stress on the muscle. If you have worked out for years, slept well and had proper nutrition it is unlikely you will get significant gains from TRT unless you raise your numbers above the normal range.


I have a question for you.
How the fact that the top of the lab ranges now is 700-800 would affect your treatment protocol?

Not sure if that question was for me but for me it has ZERO impact.

I got to the impression that the whole argue here formed around that
Personally for me I consider the upper limit to be 1500 what has been 20 years ago and I plan to stay within that reasonable range for sure

I think there seems to be some confusion around my stance. I thought I have been clear but maybe not. I DO NOT care what people take. If people want to take 5g of various substances that is their choice. My issues are twofold. First is people taking excessive amounts for gainz and claiming they are on TRT. Maybe it is rare but it is not rare from posts I have seen on this forum. I thought this was a TRT forum but there are multiple posters taking 1-2g of gear a week. Again, I have no issue with this. People just need to be aware this is not TRT.

Second issue is the argument that 1000, 1100, 1500 or whatever number you want to choose was ‘normal’ just a few years ago. Normal = norm = average. Everyone knows test levels start declining in your mid 20’s. You can slow the decline with proper sleep, diet, nutrition, etc but it will still decline. Those top of range numbers are just that. Top of the range for men in their mid 20’s. They are not the average.

There was a study posted here yesterday that showed median test levels for men between 45-71 in the 400’s. That was back in 1987. If we assume the 45 year olds had the highest levels and are very aggressive that would put the average for a 45 year old at 600. Having test levels of 1000, 1200 or 1500 at 45-50 years old is NOT ‘normal’. It has never been normal. I have not seen a single study anywhere showing the normal middle age man 20, 30, 50 or 100 years ago with test levels of 1000+. This is coming from a 49 year old that has been on TRT for 14 months and tested as high as 1350. I KNOW that is more than double the average for my age. Being an engineer, lol, that focuses on AI, statistical analysis I am merely pointing out that these levels are not normal as everyone seems to claim. Again… do what you want, what makes you happy and what resolves your symptoms. I have been at this for 14 months and still haven’t figured this out. If I ever do I might even try to add in additional compounds. If I take that route and have TT of 1500+ I won’t claim it was normal just a few years ago for 50 year olds to have TT of 1500+.

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That’s my bad, apologies. My total hovered around 1068 for the longest time and I was able to put on muscle. I had been training off and on for pretty much my whole life and was never able to add any muscle until that time.

Most labs only go up to 800 or so… Seems quest goes up to 1100 so figured if mention it. My labs when I started went up to 1100 so I was in that range you guys all cherish so much.

I only recently increased to 1200 as I had a few remaining symptoms and I wanted to see if they would resolve and they did… All of them actually. No big difference in muscle gains between the two protocols. The only difference now is I’m training much more often than before. Now at least the work provides a result over time. I have no need to take any more than this in that department.

So the question becomes, what happens with a guy who has 600 and is normal… And over time, still with 600, he starts to develop all the symptoms of low testosterone? His normal levels aren’t working for him anymore. He continues to increase it, gets to 1100, and all symptoms vanish. It means his 600 wasn’t giving him the same bang for the buck as it did before and he needs higher serum levels to achieve the same end result. This is called androgen resistance, mostly due to how polluted our bodies have become, and it will continue to get worse and eventually become a real pandemic among men.

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I started TRt with 600 because I had all the symptoms. My numbers were totally normal