T Nation

What Training Program on TRT?

Here goes a controversial one…

I’ve been on a TRT protocol for about 18 months now.

A lot of training programs are designed for natty lifters, and those who do the whole “1 body part per day” or “each body part once a week” thing.

Is there any programs that are designed for people who recover faster? I’ve been doing strength training for about 3 years, before that just fooled around in the gym. I want to transition into more bodybuilding training, and looking for help on optimizing a training program for bodybuilding based on faster recovery than normal, and not spending 90-120 minutes in the gym every time.

In my opinion the only advantage for somebody on TRT might be that we don’t overtrain as easily and we can cut fat a little longer. Somebody on a steroid cycle is a different story.

It is known that both overtraining and cutting calories lower testosterone to a certain extent. They also induce adrenal fatigue and tire the central nervous system so even though we do take testosterone exogenously we can’t really protect the other hormones in the adrenal system nor the CNS.

That’s why I believe people on TRT should train like the natural lifter that has good genetics or a good hormone panel. An intelligent well rounded training routine should include rest as well.

This is the routine that I’m using at the moment and it took me a couple of years of tweaking it. It is based on 4 days a week and it doesn’t take more than 60 minutes per session.


However I believe a routine is highly individual as nobody is the same. So whatever routine you end up choosing don’t be afraid to tweak it. Just keep in mind that a training routine is very similar to TRT in a sense that it does take at least 6 weeks to adapt to so don’t change them unless you hit a real plateau.

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Saw your post 7 days old with only one reply, thought I’d share my experiences.

I’ve been lifting hard for 22 years, have tried almost style of training and programming out there. I’ve been small/big, weak/strong, lean/fat, natural/not.

Currently 6 months into TRT, trying to rebuild a decent body after suffering low T and getting weaker and fatter FOR A DECADE, due to a pituitary tumor in my brain.

While I have not tried all the different programs on TRT that I did when I was natural, here are the key differences that I have noticed thus far. Maybe other dudes will chime and and share what they’ve noticed. You can then make your own adjustments based on your knowledge about yourself and things that others seem to agree on.

  1. I’ve noticed a MUCH better pump during TRT. When natural, no matter how much pump work I added in after my heavy set, I rarely got a good intra-workout pump, or looked fuller between workouts. On TRT, I’ve noticed one single back off set gives me a huge pump, and I look fuller for two days afterward. Is the pump worth chasing? That’s debatable, but…if hypertrophy is one of your goals, LOTS of folks swear that chasing the pump, AFTER your heavy work, helps. On TRT, I find the pump to be greatly enhanced. Seems like something to exploit, IMHO.

  2. I have found it is easier to fry my CNS on TRT. I have to be careful not to push so hard that I can’t lift for 3 days. Christian Thibadeau has stated that, as far as we know, TRT does not improve our CNS’s ability to recover. Maybe that’s true, maybe it’s not. I have found it is WAY EASIER for me to fry my CNS on TRT. Just yesterday, I threw an extra 35lbs on my RDL, just to see what 385 felt like in my hands since I hadn’t grabbed it in years. Would have been happy if I only got a handful of reps with it. It IGNITED my CNS and I got it for 15 reps! Needless to say, I was complete toast all day yesterday and so far today, though I do not feel it in my posterior chain, at all. which brings me to my next point…

  3. My muscles and joints definitely recover MUCH faster on TRT. I’ve been able to add at least 5 pounds each week to my squat every week for that last 6 months since starting TRT. Even back in my 20s when I ate, slept, and breathed powerlifting, I was never able to sustain that rate of progress, for that long. My form would have broken down, I would have torn or popped something. Granted, I am still regaining old strength that was once there, but still, man.

So, those are the KEY differences I’ve noticed. Better pump, easier to fry CNS, and quicker muscle and joint recovery.

What do you do with that?

Look at what has worked for you in the past, see if you notice the differences above to be true for you, and think critically about how to apply them to your own training and your goals.

is there a training program for TRT? Sure. Lots of them. But I assume you’re looking for one that will work well FOR YOU. The best we can do is get ideas from others, and learn to write our own programs, IMHO.

Any program someone throws up on here is going to be A) something that was written for the masses B) a plan they’ve altered to suit them or created for themselves. Neither is likely to be best FOR YOU. I’ve prospered on programs that most would shun. I’ve gotten nothing from programs that people swear are the best out there.

Wishing you the best of luck. Hoping some other guys chime in here. Always willing to answer questions.

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Not really.

No, they aren’t. They are either something that a pro BBer does, which has nothing to do with “Natty”, or some junk somebody threw together to get paid. Very few are anything else.
On TRT you recover faster than a guy with low T. You don’t revocer faster than a “Natty” guy with regular levels If you are on a b;ast, you will of course recover faster. Either way, pretty irrelevant. The limiting factor is ALWAYS CNS. High volume training is by design either low percent of 1RM, or designed to push you deliberately into overtraining followed by a deload or rest week for recovery. Low volume training should be high percent of 1RM, and CNS crushing. You have to know your own body and figure out where you need to be on that line between the two extremes depending on your goals.

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I’ve only been on TRT since the end of December however I’ve been working out consistently for the past 8-9 years. The pumps on TRT are definitely better. I’ve even gotten good pumps from body weight exercises during the quarantine when my gym closed. I’ve also held a good percentage of muscle during these 11 weeks which I never thought would be possible on body weight exercises only.

I haven’t have this happen on TRT yet. Most probably because I’ve been extremely cautious during the past couple of my lifting years since I’ve fried my CNS in the past by training too hard on low testosterone and I can tell you it’s no fun. It took me around 3-4 weeks to recover with crazy headaches everyday.

I can attest to this as well. I bought a home gym the past weekend and I’m back to lifting weights for a straight week now. I was able to lift to around 80% of my regular weights even I’ve been of lifting weights for a good 11 weeks. I can tell that I can get back to my regular weights in around 2-3 weeks. Off course the body weight exercises I did at home helped however I never thought I could return to 80% the first week back to lifting.

In my opinion a TRT user should follow an optimal training program of a natty trainer.

The “one body part” routines work primarily for people on really high doses gear, because they are in constant hyper anabolism and can put enough volume in that and recover efficiently.