T Nation

TRT At Normal Level to Gain Muscle?

I am not disagreeing. I am merely stating that people throw around these numbers saying 1500 was normal just 10 or 15 years ago. That is simply not the case. These are ranges and that is the top end for men in their 20’s. They then extrapolate and justify running levels even higher because 60 or 70 years ago the average level must have been even higher. As has been discussed ad nauseam there are many factors for the decline in the ranges. Everyone points to environment, diet, sedentary lifestyle etc… These are clearly factors but you also must take into account the aging population. The average age of a male in the US was 27 in 1970. It is now 38. Of course the ranges will go down as more older people get tested. TRT also wasn’t a thing 20-30 years ago. There were probably plenty of 50-60 years olds will low levels just living miserably and not getting tested. Now we have 50-60 year olds getting tested and bringing down the average.

I agree with 95% of what you say but you keep using the argument that these 1000+ levels were normal just a few years ago. That is simply not the case. Definitely not for middle aged men. Will there be long term effects from running levels of 1000+ for 30 years? Who knows… What we have seen so far it doesn’t look like it. As you have pointed out it generally increases health and well being. Time will tell…

We see people taking opioids for their pain, SSRIs, statins, insulin for their diabetes, Viagra/Cialis, and a ton of medication that they have to take long term. It’s never questioned… Ever. Then someone brings up TRT as a way to potentially eliminate all that and they immediately question long term safety. It’s mind-blowing. I’ll take T over all that junk ten times out of ten.


People don’t question the use of opioids, SSRI’s or statins? I think there are plenty of people that are questioning the use of these substances. I tend to question everything so that is just my nature.

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Most don’t. They take what their docs tell them that they need and that’s it. Show them testosterone and the immediate response is “isn’t that stuff dangerous?”

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When my symptoms started a few years ago my mother wanted to send me to a doctor to prescribe me SSRI. Somehow I knew this would be a mistake and refused…

You went from ‘It’s never questioned… Ever’ to ‘most don’t’ in a matter of three minutes. Go look up statins on youtube. There are literally thousands of videos talking about the evils of statins. I don’t know how many ways I can say this. I agree with 95% of what you say but you continually say things as absolute that are just not the case. You have a youtube channel with thousands of followers and a FB channel with thousands of followers. You clearly are knowledgable in this area. Much more knowledgable than me. You still make statements as fact that are clearly not fact and refuse to admit you are ever wrong. You could have so many more followers and help so many more people if you would just admit when you are wrong. Your constant insistence that you are always right and defensiveness when questioned just turns people off and reduces the amount of people you could be helping.

So you are saying you questioned it?

I just discarded the option

200mg a week definitely put muscle on me in the first 6 months. Very noticeable. I gained 20 pounds and my strength went up roughly 25% (squat, clean and jerk, deadlift, bench press). Plus I could work out longer and recover quicker.

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I grew an amazing natural physique with test levels of under 300. \

It’s not about your levels, it’s about time, consistency, diet, and training. Period.

OBVI higher levels make the above easier.


Correct. A lot this started with the 2007 study which is referenced a here…

Here is a summary of a more recent study on age independent testosterone decline…

From either study you can see that the mean TT levels are not near what most people on ‘TRT’ are representing with their own labs. I’m on 120mg/wk and now my doc wants to lower me to 100mg/wk which I am going to give a try. My levels are well above 600ng/dl on 120mg/wk. To each their own but I do start to question if you NEED a dose that high are you really resolving your issues or just masking them?

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@jimg01852 Every single time I make a mistake, I own up to it. Every. Single. Time. I’ve frequently admitted to things I’ve had my mind changed on even on the YouTube channel. I used to tell everyone to start at 200mg a week. I’ve revised that to 150mg. I can change my mind on things as I learn more and will continue to do so. I don’t need to apologize to anyone for that.

I’ll say something in general terms. Then you’ll ask for specifics, so I get more specific, and then claim it differs from the more general term I used. I’m sorry I’m not breaking things down into ultra specifics. If I have a specific number, I’ll tell you. Other times, I’m just generalizing based on what I’m seeing which may differ from what you’re seeing.

I’m not trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, I assure you.

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Guys, I keep saying this… and the equation is ultra simple.

Dose is irrelevant. Serum levels are also more or less irrelevant. The goal here is symptom resolution.

When you have a headache, you could take ten Advil if you really wanted to, but you don’t… right? You start with 1 and see what happens. Maybe you’ll need two. Maybe you’ll need three. But you typically start with one to see what happens. If your headache is gone with one, great. If not, try two, then three, until you find a number that works best for you and your headache is gone. The goal isn’t to make your headache go away AND have superhuman intellect or some other thing. Just to be ‘normal’ and not have a headache all day. Not asking for much here… right?

TRT = take the MINIMUM required dose to resolve symptoms… whatever that dose is.

I couldn’t make this any more simpler if I tried. The ultimate dose you require to resolve those symptoms and the serum levels needed, at the end of the day, aren’t relevant to anyone. You wouldn’t justify yourself to anyone and say, “Hey, when I get a headache, I need 4 advil to make it go away. Anything less and the headache is still there”. I can assure you, you’ll take the 4 advil. Hopefully it’s less.

Nobody out there could possibly tell me that I should lower my dose because my numbers of slightly over range make them uncomfortable. I don’t care if you’re uncomfortable. I have zero symptoms and living my best life. My health has never been better in my life. If this is a bad thing, sorry (not sorry) I’m just not seeing it.

Are there guys out there trying to get dose increases just to go after muscle gains? Of course!! I’m not one of those guys. I’m in Canada. It’s SO EASY for me to get gear here, you have no idea, and nobody would send me to prison for it (as long as I’m not selling it and it is only for personal use). I would simply use gear several times a year and then do regular TRT. Not my interest. My interest is to feel NORMAL, which I do now.

None of you should EVER be criticizing someone’s dose. I know guys who need over 2000 to feel normal. Older guys who aren’t even into bodybuilding. None of you should ever be put into a position that you need to defend your dose. None of you would EVER need to defend ANY medication you were ever being prescribed by a doctor and it’s utterly ridiculous that testosterone needs to be any different.

For me at least I put on a little muscle with TRT. I also got stronger. Those were relatively small differences. I was muscular and strong with low T. The big difference is body composition. Had I tried to cut while having low T, my body would just shrink proportionally. Now I cut and much more of it is fat. I have slightly more muscle at 208 lbs than I did at 225 with low T. YMMV. I have heard this stated before by many though.

Assuming you meant to reply to me you’re taking free range in expanding past the point I was trying to make. My point was simply that no… 1000ng/dl+ is not what your grandfather had. Further… no, its not a normal range to be in long term. That being said everybody is free to do what they please with their own body whether that be (4) advil, a bottle of scotch, 10 packs of cigarettes etc.

I do have some serious doubts about this especially has it relates to long term cardiovascular health but I’m just going to leave it at that as we are getting off subject from the OP.

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I am not questioning your dose or people being at 2000 if it makes them feel good and resolves all their issues. ONLY thing I am questioning is saying levels of 1000+ are ‘normal’ or were normal just a few years ago. There is NO data showing that. The very study you cited showed just the opposite.

The Advil analogy is a bad analogy. Should someone take the entire bottle if it resolves symptoms? Should they take it every day for a month? Will that have any side effects?

We live in society of instant gratification and social media. There are definitely people justifying use above symptom resolution and claiming it is TRT because they are at levels that were normal just a few years back. If they cannot post pics on FB or IG and get likes they are depressed. Taking higher dosages to increase their levels so they feel better about their self image is relieving a symptom? Or perhaps should they fix the underlying problem?

Just trying to help you out @dbossa, but this is what @jimg01852 is talking about. It is possible that you have owned up to every single mistake you have made, but it is so improbable that we can just assume you haven’t. Hell, I probably don’t own up to a mistake on a monthly basis (or more, it is very likely that most of the mistakes I don’t own up to I don’t even know about). It is being a bit to absolute when you don’t have to.

I have watched and enjoy your content on YouTube, and think your posts here are pretty good. Just be careful using absolutes or hasty generalizations (especially as an “expert”). Using qualifiers like most and many is a good way to sound a bit more knowledgeable. By doing that you are acknowledging nuance in the subject.

This always tells me a lot about the true character of the person saying it.

It’s hard to own up to mistakes or to change prior thought processes. It shows someone is thinking and evolving.

dbossa is one of the good ones on here.

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I have never (not once) ever referred to myself as an ‘expert’. Other people call me this. I think it’s silly as the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know. I know more than the general population of men on TRT, fine… but that’s where it ends. I’ve been struck plenty of times in situations that went above and beyond what my skillset is. A lot of this is trial and error… hunches made based on past results etc. There is a lot of guesswork and you can make the wrong guess. Everyone wants instant results so if I propose something and it doesn’t work for them within two weeks I’m apparently an idiot etc. I’m no expert. I no very little about thyroid. I know even less if the person has an underlying condition that complicates TRT. I do what I can with what I know. I KNOW we shouldn’t block estradiol except in unbelievably rare circumstances (and every ‘bro’ believes they are the exception)… I KNOW that many men need a higher dose for symptom resolution. There are things I’ve been succesful at over 1000 times so nobody can tell me it doesn’t work. There is just so much to learn. Do I know ‘a lot’ on the subject? Sure. Can I explain it in laymen’s terms so the regular guys can understand it? Sure. Am I an expert? No. If I believed I was I’d be billing for my time, which I’m not. I’m genuinely trying to help guys out as it makes me feel good as a person to help others.

EDIT @roscoe88 this wasn’t directed at you… I made a quote, posted it, and now I don’t know how to fix it!

This was actually directed at @jimg01852
To clarify, which you keep insisting I do because you hang on my every word in the literal sense and bring it up the moment you notice something…If I recognize I have made a mistake, I’ll say so. I’ve apologized to plenty of people here for omitting things, providing incorrect details, typos, you name it. There can obviously be things I’m just wrong on and didn’t even know it.

I’d love for some of you, who provide no photo, no name, no personal information… basically just ‘ghosts’ on the Internet, to plaster your face here like I do, with links to social media, with videos on YouTube, and state your opinions/beliefs (whatever) in a public forum and then watch as the haters come in to make you look stupid, because it makes them feel better about themselves to treat others like idiots who are just trying to help for the greater good.

You guys do that and let me know how it works out for you. Seriously. This is the thing. Most people don’t have the balls nor the stomach to do it. I do it because I really don’t give a shit what people think of me because I KNOW I’m helping a ton of people in the process. Everyone else is a keyboard warrior in hiding pretending to be this or that. Accusing people of being addicts and drug abusers, etc., knowing full well that they would never have to balls to say any of this stuff to me if I was standing in front of them. I don’t hide and I sure don’t pretend. These are little girls playing fantasy world on their computer trying to convince others they are something they are clearly not.

Give it a while one of these days… just for kicks. You’ll have a new found respect for guys who put it all out there to benefit others.