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What TT Levels are Required to See Anabolic Effects?

I’m on TRT for past several months. While I’ve experienced some benefits, my erectile dysfunction issues have NOT been fixed with TRT yet. Anyway, my first question is about T levels that enhance body buliding

I’ve naturally low SHBG, below low end of the normal range. So, a lot of my Testosterone is free. With just 100mg dose per week (split in two injections), my T peak levels are 1200 and on the day of injection, 800s.

I know that T levels have to be in supraphysiological range to see anabolic effects. But all the threads I’ve read talk about dosage (400mg T, 600mg T are often mentioned as beginner cycles).

Given that with just 100mg I am above lab range (200s to 800ish is the lab range). Am I not already in supra-physiological levels? I’m not noticing any increased rate of muscle building. I’ve always been a hard gainer and it remains the case until today.

My Free T is also significantly above the lab range.

So, what T levels show anabolic results? Anybody knows? If 100mg gives 1200 peak. Perhaps 120mg will give me 1500 peak and keep even the trough above 1000 ng/dl.

Would that be enough? Doctor actually prescribed me 200mg/week but I started with lower dose and when I saw my T levels were above range, I did not increase the dose to 200mg.

By the way, if anybody has any experience with FIXING erectile dysfunction, please chime-in:

Things I’ve tried for ED:
***1. TRT ***
(100mg/week + 500iu hcg twice a week + 0.125mg anastrazole twice a week)

2. Maca powder, pine bark, 5-htp, l-tyrosine, nalt, mucuna pureina, l-dopa, l-arginine, l-citruline

Also, I don’t watch much porn at all

Viagra 30mg/Cialis 5mg used to work but for last few months, they have STOPPED working. I can get erection but it goes soft again in a minute or two.

I started TRT and for the first few months of my TRT, my ED issues were fixed. I’d take a 5mg of Cialis and I’d be hard for next 3 days. But now, even with Cialis upto 30MG, I cant keep erection.

My e2 is fine per my doctor (around 35), Total T is above 900ng/dl on most days, Free T is above range, DHT is mid-range.

Doctor switched me to Testosterone cream a few weeks ago because more of it converts to DHT and he thinks that might help with libido. But so far, 3 weeks, no change whatsoever. I didn’t get tested for DHT again but my T levels on cream are 900ng/dl++ as well. And e2 is in control as well with anastrazole.

I have also tried a few weeks without HCG , no change.

I don’t know what else to do. Should I try Proviron? But isn’t that just methylated DHT?

NOTE: I am 36/male, 5’10, 165 lbs weight, maybe 12-15% bf.

Those with low thyroid function will not notice a big difference on TRT, the reference ranges aren’t normal, let’s start with TSH, Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3 and antibodies if you’ve got it.

Free T3 is the most important, it increase metabolism and increases body temperatures, TRT attempts to restore metabolic rates and work together.

I like you have I low SHBG (16-22) and boy are our TRT experiences similar, felt little mood benefits on weekly injection, a little better on twice weekly, but never noticed any muscle mass increase.

That is until I started injecting 25mg every 2 days, within 7 days upon starting this every 2 day protocol, muscles were getting hard and became very sore as if I had lifted weight all day long.

Lower SHBG men tend to do better on multiple doses per week, some only respond on every 2 day or every day protocols. Whenever I have excess Free T I don’t respond to TRT at all. My twice weekly protocol had my Free T at 29 pg/ml (range 6.8- 21.5) above range and it felt like it was bottomed out.

Hey @systemlord you’ve helped me on other TRT threads. I am on Thyroid med and both free t4 and free t3 are in upper half of the range. TSH is < 1.0 now. Antibodies are negative - no autoimmune disease.

So, Thyroid is fine and dialed-in.
TRT is more or less dialed-in from lab prespective. But two main benefits of TRT that I expected were:

  1. it will fix or significantly improve Erectile Dysfunction and Libido issues. But ED/Libido is still shit. For a few months on TRT, it actually did fix it. But then it went back to shit.

  2. From hard-gainer, I expected to turn into an easy gainer. Not grow at anabolic steroid user speed but I expected with high T, I’ll atleast become a normal/easy gainer.

I’m now on daily T cream (instead of injection) and keep daily T levels above 900 ng/dl. Everything else seems dialed-in too. So, what gives? Can’t figure out what else to investigate to fix my ED!

Your levels are too high, small injections everyday and levels in the mid normal ranges, not high normal. The labs don’t really show what’s going on, There is more to increased injection frequencies than I can explain, The hormone profiles of somebody injecting daily look completely different then injecting twice weekly.

I believe matching your normal hormone profile as closely as possible is what will cause you to respond to TRT. I’m telling you inject small daily doses and you’ll see the light.

At this point you have nothing to lose.

According to doctors (my original TRT doctor passed away - Dr. John Crisler) and now Defy Medical - daily cream most closely resembles natural testosterone. It is way better than EOD or ED injections (which I hate anyway). So, you are injecting EOD, I’m taking T DAILY (although transdermal) and my body is absorbing it because the lab results show that.

I only respond to TRT when I’m injectin very small doses and I think you may be the same. My labs looked perfect when injecting once and twice weekly but I didn’t feel perfect, so there’s something else the labs are not showing.

I am jacked using 29 gauge insulin syringes in the shoulders and quads, it’s painless.

I understand. But isn’t using cream (daily) same thing as injecting daily?

Look at it from my point of view, the T cream isn’t working, twice weekly isn’t working, now you try something different, something you haven’t tried yet.

Not everyone responds well to T creams even with perfect numbers, I’m telling labs aren’t the word of God, I believe everyone is different and these large T peaks are bad for some men.

The hormone profiles of daily crame does not look anything like injecting testosterone daily.

Ok. Doctor wants to do a follow-up in 5 weeks. So, I’ll continue using cream for 2 more weeks. And then switch to EOD injection. I suppose 20mg Monday, Wednesday, Friday will be fine.

If and 5 weeks you don’t feel better I think you stand a better chance injecting daily vs EOD, don’t shortchange yourself by selecting the less optimal protocol.

OK. 10mg injection daily, perhaps? I can try that.

Perfect, I would be doing a daily protocol if it weren’t for what I believe are liver issues, I felt tremendously better on a daily vs EOD.

Wow what a difference!

Interesting. Let’s see! I hate injections but let’s see how this goes.
Meanwhile, my first question (the actual thread topic) - don’t we need to be above normal lab range to see anabolic effects? If so, 1200 ng/dl is definitely outside range. Is that enough? How much above range do you’ve to be?

Your T numbers are fine. I am not sure what your E levels being under control with Anastrazole means. Your posted E2 number is with the AI?
On a side note, Stuart McBraun is an idiot and there’s no such thing as a “hardgainer”. Rant over.
What’s your blood pressure? I have never had ED, but I know it is a bear. and BP over time is related.
As for anabolic effects… I know guys that have been as high as 12 grams a week. That is not a typo. I think you are probably expecting a lot from that dose. I didn’t feel particularly anabolic at 2100 (250 mg), but I felt about the same as 900 (200 mg).

Your Free T must be insane when Total T is 1200 ng/dL. You should concern yourself with Free, I only need a Total T of 500 to get Free T right at the top of the ranges.

@hicreatine you are in the wrong forum you need to ask this in the pharma SL doesnot know crap about supraphysiological ranges.
You want to feel supraphysiological range you need to increase your Free T by 4x over the top of the free T range. Like this and even at this lvl you have to be there for 4 weeks before you feel any stronger.

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Around 160-200mg where i feel supra-physiological feelings. Good mood, fast recover from workouts, good energy levels, muscles look full and rounder, strength increase etc.

I am good responder to Test, 100mg gives me 1000 total T.
So I’d say 1600-2000 where u wanna be to feel it.

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@mhmtali thanks so very much for this answer! This is exactly what I was looking for. So, 1600-2000 total T levels is where anabolic effects are noticeable.

My first priority is to fix Erectile Dysfunction. So, fist I am going to try what @systemlord suggests.

Next 2 weeks: continue cream and follow-up with doctor.

If Erection/Libido is not fixed, try @systemlord protocol for 4-6 weeks:
10-12mg ED Testosterone Cypionate injections + twice a week 500 IU HCG. Because it’s daily injection, I’ll reduce my Anastrazole dose to 0.0625mg twice a week (same time as HCG).

If that doesn’t work, I’ll finally try to increase my Testoserone levels to 1600-2000. On cream, my T levels are already above 1000. Doctor prescribed me 3 clicks of cream everyday, and I only take 2 clicks. So, if I take the full prescription, I’m sure my T levels would easily be 1600+. I’m taking 30% less than the prescribed dose still!

On injection, I can probably up my injection from 50mg twice a week to 75mg twice a week. But I’ll try cream first because I hate injections. But anyway, this is atleast 6 weeks away.

BTW, here are my labs on Testosterone cream (2 clicks)
Total T: 1034 ng/dl (on just 2 clicks of cream)
E2 (ultra-sensitive): 20 pg/ml (twice a week anastrazole, 0.125mg each)
+ HCG 500 IU twice a week
I did not check SHBG, Free T etc again because my SHBG is always lower than the lab range, and Free T is higher than lab range even when Total T is only 800s.

My cream is 20% Testosterone cream from Empower Pharmacy. So, each click is .25ml and has 50mg testosterone. Two clicks = 0.5ml = 100mg of T applied. Of which, according to studies, skin absorbs about 10% so, roughly 10mg of T is making it to my blood stream everyday and it is bringing my T levels to 1034 ng/dl

I am pretty sure if you inject 100mg/wk and you get a TT of 1000 then you inject 200mg/wk you will not get a TT of 2000 it is not linear like that. For me to get a TT of 2000 I have to inject 400mg/wk and 120mg/wk puts my TT at 750.
I don’t know if many of the pharma guys read the TRT forum hopefully one of them can confirm my statement about T injections are not linear.

No. Take a guy starting at 350 total and bump him up to 1000. With proper diet and training, he will gain muscle, gain strength, and lose fat. However, some will make those same gains at even lower levels, while others will not, needing higher levels to see significant muscular and strength increases.