T Nation

TRT + Training?

Hey folks. I’m 45, on 150 mg/week divided in 3 equal doses MWF, with Anastrozole and hcg. Free T at 30 ng/dl (range 4.8 to 25 for my age) and total T 1050 (range 292 to 867).

I’m 5’9", 177 lbs, 19% bodyfat. Eventually goal would be to add 10lbs of muscle and drop 10 lbs of fat.

Trainer wants me on 1500 cal/day with 145 g protein. That will put me in a cal deprivation zone of around 800/day. He says I’ll lose some muscle. . . will the T help prevent this? Do I really need to go that deep into cal deprivation while on my TRT to lose the fat?

Any thoughts welcome.

those calls are low man. I’m not a BB so as far as getting a certain BF% i don’t have a clue. What I can tell you is with that big of a cal deficit with strength training and cardio (I’m assuming) your body will start to rid itself of its most energy spending tissue (muscle) in order to maintain homeostasis. Eat quality but up the quantity. I don’t know your trainer, his background, or his composition but it sounds like he’s just trying to get you to lose weight and say “see, look at these results.”

I agree with the post above. That’s too extreme and bound to mess you up. Personally i find dropping fat easy with light cardio and frequent total-body workouts. I try to stimulate my entire muscle mass and stick to compound movements over isolation. I also don’t go heavy but stay in the 12-24 rep range. I also only go full range on movements with lighter weights to avoid joint strain. I feel the most muscle stimulation by using 60% of the ROM and a good contraction. I save the 100% ROM stuff for warming up and cooling off.

Get your whole body metabolizing. Maybe look into thyroid supplements if your TSH is on the high side.

Thanks. That’s what I was thinking. From what I’ve been reading, 400 calorie deficit is a bit more reasonable, especially since I’ve added lifting into my daily regime (well, 4x/week) after 20 years of being absent from the gym.

1500 calories is a starvation diet for your body size. You will lose fat, but probably also loose significant muscle mass, or at least build none even on T. For the past 7 months or so, I’ve been on about 2300-2500 calories (I’m 5’10.5"). I started TRT around 5 months ago (now stabilized around 950). In that 7 months I went from 21% BF to 14.8% BF, while gaining 17 pounds. I’m now at 190.

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C27 H40 O3 made some good points. I read over your post again and the more i think about what your end goal is the more i think how you need to change your strategy. Again, nothing against your trainer but with the amount of gear your running its going to be near impossible to gain ten pounds of muscle and lose ten pounds of fat at the same time. Im not suggesting to change any of your gear doses but i think you need to break your end goal into two smaller goals. First- try to eat well, train hard and heavy, and get your BW to around 190. Second- once you get around 190 and feeling strong up the rep range to the numbers mentioned above, clean up the diet a little, pick the cardio up and lean out.

Again, thanks.

Update, got my bloodwork today after I voluntarily dropped my T dosage from 200 mg/week to 150 mg/week according to my original post. Turns out my total T is 827 (292-867) and free T 21.2 (4.8-25.0). So, my numbers have moved back into the top end of the ‘normal’ ranges. E2 is at 21 now, down from 53 with Anastrozole. Also, Free T3 3.6 (3.2 - 400), T4 1.35 (0.73-1.95) and TSH 0.4 (0.5-4.7). Regarding TSH, I read that the new range should be 0.3-3.0 so this would still put me at the bottom end of normal.

I don’t think any of this changes the analysis but I could be wrong.

@ paperback = trainer does want to split it into two mini goals: cut fat and learn proper form over next 60 days, then move to heavier training with higher calorie intake. When I brought up my concerns about losing lean body mass, he replied that that’s why we do body comp 4 days/week, to track your body comp as well as overall weight.

B/c I’ve been out of the gym for 20 years and am a noob all over again, it seems prudent to ease back in with proper instruction and light weight as I’ve been doing. Since that’s not conducive to building mass, it would seem the right time to lean out a bit. Maybe I’m not looking at this the right way?

Absolutley, didn’t realize there was a long break in your gym time. Just put the time in and be smart. This is a great place to bring up any of your concerns. Keep us up to date on your progress. Its interesting and educational for me to watch others programming and experiences.

Knobby, what was your dosing schedule for anastrozole?

[quote]C27 H40 O3 wrote:
Knobby, what was your dosing schedule for anastrozole? [/quote]

I’m T MWF 50mg each, alternating b/t intramuscular and subq depending one whether I have my insulin needles loaded up.

I’m also taking anastrazole MWF, at 0.5 mg doses. B/c my script is only for 0.5 mg 2x/week, and picked up some liquidex that I use for one of the doses, usually W.


My doc is pretty lenient on refills and the like. I was thinking that since I have a surplus of T and my script is based on 200 mg/week, I may jump back to 200mg/week as I get into heavier weights. Do folks think it’ll make any difference? I could go higher if there’s a benefit but I’m interested in keeping it in the therapeutic range rather than loading up on a lot of gear.

I disagree with everyone here about 800 kCal/d being an excessive deficit for you; that’s perfectly fine if you can stay sane and happy on the food reduction, and you will get faster results out of the cut.

Studies have shown that each pound of body fat can yield about 30 calories per day of stored energy. At 177lbs and 19% body fat, that means you can burn a little over 1000 calories per day just from fat. 800 per day is thus attainable while still leaving a little margin for error; in the context of a good training program, you should be able to sustain this deficit for about 1.5lbs per week of fat loss and very, very little muscle loss.

The important consideration is that you recalculate your deficit as you lean out, since you’ll have less fat and thus less available fat-based energy. Let’s say that a month in you’re down six pounds and at 171/16%; you’d then have only 830 calories or so as your “max daily fat burn.” At that point, it’d probably be wise to back off on the deficit to make sure you aren’t unnecessarily losing muscle mass.

So I think your trainer’s recommendations sound just fine for an aggressive but sensible cut.

To your original question, having a favorite hormonal profile will absolutely make it easier to retain muscle mass, but within physiological ranges, being diligent about your diet (not going too low on calories) and your training (getting those muscles regularly used even when you’re dog tired) is going to have more influence.

[quote]Nyrin wrote:
I disagree with everyone here about 800 kCal/d being an excessive deficit for you; that’s perfectly fine if you can stay sane and happy on the food reduction, and you will get faster results out of the cut.

Studies have shown that each pound of body fat can yield about 30 calories per day of stored energy. At 177lbs and 19% body fat, that means you can burn a little over 1000 calories per day just from fat. 800 per day is thus attainable while still leaving a little margin for error; in the context of a good training program, you should be able to sustain this deficit for about 1.5lbs per week of fat loss and very, very little muscle loss.

The important consideration is that you recalculate your deficit as you lean out, since you’ll have less fat and thus less available fat-based energy. Let’s say that a month in you’re down six pounds and at 171/16%; you’d then have only 830 calories or so as your “max daily fat burn.” At that point, it’d probably be wise to back off on the deficit to make sure you aren’t unnecessarily losing muscle mass.

So I think your trainer’s recommendations sound just fine for an aggressive but sensible cut.

To your original question, having a favorite hormonal profile will absolutely make it easier to retain muscle mass, but within physiological ranges, being diligent about your diet (not going too low on calories) and your training (getting those muscles regularly used even when you’re dog tired) is going to have more influence.[/quote]

Thanks for the input, very helpful

knooby,

As a former competitive natural bobybuilder below are my thoughts…

You are totally untrained so putting on 10lbs of muscle and loosing 10 pounds of fat in 6-12 months is absolutely doable with the right training program. If you had been consistently training for the last 20 years TRT would help but putting on an additional 10 pounds would be much harder. If you have average to good genetics you could actually do significantly more in 12months with the right program and TRT in the top 25% of the range.

  1. You should decide what the primary goal is. To get maximum results in minimum time use a real training program not that cross fit stuff. Cross fit is great for overall cardio condition and health with some muscle but will not maximize your muscle gains.

  2. With the right training program you should not have to worry about the diet much as the weight will come off slowly and naturally as you put on muscle. Just eat 5 meals a day with 20-40grams of protein each meal and some complex carbs with no junk food and use common sense. Limiting your calories as suggest by your trainer is poor advice if you want to put on size. Your bodyfat will float down to about 10% naturally then you will need to be more restrictive if you want to go lower than that.

  3. Assuming you feel good don’t mess with your TRT dosage. Your numbers are great. Muscle for the next 12 months will be dependent on the intensity of your training and the right routine and taking in enough quality protein and not if you are at 1,200 or 827 TT. Pushing the dose will likely come with sides that are not going to get you where you want any faster and can actually derail progress. Focusing on the TRT will detract from what you need to do. Just keep your Total and Free T in the top 25% or so of the range with your E2 between 20-30 and then focus on the training.

  4. After you get some of your strength back and get used to being in the gym then begin to train 5-6 times a week for a maximum of 1 hour each time with a high level of intensity. A routine like the below will give you the fastest gains once you get your basic foundation back. My guess is you will need to go slow for the first 2-3 months to build a basic foundation and get comfortable with the exercises.

Routine:

  • Warm up 2 sets of your first exercise then do 3 to 5 exercises for 3 to 5 sets each. (large body parts like legs and back on the high end of the range and smaller body parts like biceps on the low end).

  • Rep range from 6-12 most sets should be about 10 reps to failure or 1 rep shy. Find a spotter for a couple forced reps on select exercises.

  • Workouts should never be longer than 1hr and be high intensity the entire time. Rest between 1-3 min between sets (Closer to 3min after heavy squats or other intense compound movements closer to 1min for curls and similar)

  • With TRT I now can train each bodypart once every 5-6 days. Prior to TRT I would do one bodypart a week. Depending on your recovery see what works best.

  • This is a good schedule: Day 1: Chest, Day 2: Back, Day 3: Shoulders, Day 4: Arms, Day 5: Legs, Day 6: Rest then start again. Now I just keep going and put in a rest day when I feel I need it. If you want to stay on a 7 day cycle so everything is always trained on the same day put another rest day between back and Shoulders.

  • Keep protein intake at ~1 to 1.5 grams per pound bodyweight. Take ~30 grams right after working out. I find Creatine is also helpful and take 5 grams when I get up in the morning and 5 grams after I lift.

  • Stick with the basic exercises and hit every set hard.

What works well…

Chest: Bench Press, Flat Dumbbell Press, Incline Dumbbells.

Shoulders: Seated barbell Press, Upright Rows, Shrugs, Dumbbell Overhead Presses, Dumbbell side laterals.

Arms: Bar Curls, Preacher Curls, Dumbbell Curls, Triceps Extensions, Pushdowns, Close Grip Bench, Dips.

Back: Pull-ups, Long Pulley Rows, T Bar Rows, One Arm Dumbbell Rows, Dead lifts.

Legs: Squats, Hack Squats, Leg Presses, Leg Curls, Leg Extensions.

For all bodyparts - Hammer Strength machines are also effective to mix things up.

2Bstronger,

Perfect! Just freakin’ perfect!

knobby22,

If you don’t take 2Bstronger advice, you are a fool. Thank him for taking the time when 95% of most guys here wouldn’t.

2BStronger, just logged in to check messages. Many thanks! I completely agree with your advice and am just in that first month of training and have been focusing on the basics with weights that are easy to handle, and working on a lot of fascial work to loosen up glutes/hamstrings/I band b/c sitting at a desk has taken its toll on flexibility and on my ability to fire the right muscles for certain movements. I’ve already made huge strides in that dept and now starting to add weight.

I came to the conclusion after talking to folks and reading, my best approach is not a deep calorie deficit but rather to add mass and eat well, which should bring me to my goals.

My doc told me that there was no need for a deep deficit running T at optimal levels. This makes sense, and I found that slashing calories to 1500 combined with weights was just too much shit going on at the same time. It really sucked. Fortunately, my diet is solid, but now I track protein to hit my intake numbers.

Thanks again. Much appreciated.

knobby,

10 calories per pound of bodyweight a day is extremely aggressive bud. Anything under that is not sustainable long-term without negative metabolic payback on the back end. 1500 calories is not enough. Check out a recent article on this site: A Calorie is not a Calorie. It will give you some GOOD insight into the proper method for weight loss. If you were my client I would start you at 1900-2000 calories (12ish calories per lb.), focus on resistance training, and use a starting point of 200g protein daily (not quite 1.5g x LBM of roughly 140 pounds). Put some muscle on and let the metabolism go to work.

take care.