I actually had to wait a few seconds because I was sure there would be some — bubbling to the surface. After a few seconds, all I got was a drop the size of a pinhead. Still, it justified the alcohol wipe I had opened and ready.
So many of my friends have talked to me about TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) that I wrote out a boilerplate, standard response email. Then I ended up sending out so many repeat emails that I decided to rework it into a writing.
I’ve been on TRT for years and it’s greatly improved my already stellar quality of life!
What got me started:
I started training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and weightlifting in college, I have a great relationship with my health and my body. So when I started to get tired more often and less able to recover from my workouts as easily, I noticed. I talked to my doctor and had him do my annual full body physical early. When the results all came back, I panicked at the results. With a terrifying calm, the Dr. said I was “normal on all accounts”.
I have never, ever been normal. I have always had above average results with every measurable body metric besides my body fat. I carry a layer of fat around my muscles and I am lazy about losing it. You’ve seen me, I have a lumberjacks body, not a models.
I spent at least an hour a day online researching what I could do about it. I cross referenced everything from BroScience to reputable medical journals and they all pointed to one thing. My testosterone was lowering as I rapidly approached maturity.
Until then, I took testosterone for granted. I had more than enough to power my masculinity and then some. It’s why bold, adventurous men are able to lead the lives we do. As time goes on we calm down, become more complacent, fatter, and less aggressive. That may be OK for average men, but not for my friends, or me!
The big issue is that “normal” for Testosterone in your blood can be anywhere from 300-1,100 ng/ml (Nanograms per Milliliter). 300 means you have a horrid, sad life with no emotional or physical manifestations of manhood. A 95-year-old, obese, diabetic, with poor decision-making skills can be counted as “normal” at 300. My Testosterone count has been between 850-950 my entire adult life. I won’t settle for less.
I kept reading the same thing over and over. From Ph.D. written articles to men who simply talk about it online. Testosterone is not complex, and the results are consistent. Whether you are losing it due to age or supplementing it, there are predictable results.
Specifically, I asked the Dr. for these blood work results:
-Complete Blood Count with Differential
-Insulin Growth Factor (IGF-1),
-Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
-Serum (Equilibrium Ultrafiltration) With Total Testosterone
-Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA)
Here is some of the information that led me to go back to the Dr. for a very specific set of blood panels to see if my suspicions were correct, that I was losing testosterone.
What I was prescribed:
(WARNING: Propionate has a notorious “PIP” (Pain at Injection Point)
I was told it would take a month before the effects “kicked in”, but I felt it in four doses, that’s two weeks.
The biggest, most noticeable changes:
- It’s not “speed”, superfluous energy, or a drugged feeling.
- More mental acuity.
- I sleep far better, deeper, and more productively.
- My muscles recover after time in the gym far faster.
- The absence of tiredness. No more lethargy!
- More physical stamina (I train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and No Gi Grappling. It can be rough!)
- A slight increase in aggression (but nothing uncontrollable, if you were already a violent asshole you will continue to be. If not, you won’t be.)
- Increase in libido and sexual stamina.
The only aspect of Testosterone Replacement Therapy that surprised me was that it seriously improved my cognition. I am “sharper”, more able to seriously focus.
It’s mentioned here as well:
The number one question I am asked by men I talked to about it:
“Why inject Pharmaceutical Grade Testosterone instead of a “natural”, “homeopathic”, or “over the counter” testosterone enhancer / booster?
1) Doctor prescribed pharmaceutical grade testosterone was first correctly synthesized in 1935. We know specifically and exactly what the positive and negatives are, without question. With a compound that has only been being used for a few years, we are unsure. I want stability and consistency.
2) The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not inspect or approve dietary supplements. This means that everything you buy that is sold to help you with nutrition is something that has not been approved. I’m not saying they are good or bad. I am saying that you are not ever going to have the same protections that you have when you buy the pharmaceutical grade, prescribed, pure testosterone.
Take seven minutes to watch this!
When I was in high school, my cousin Ley was very health conscious and lifted weights. He used a product called Hot Stuff. An effective supplement! It was effective because they were using simple ingredients, spiked with medical grade ingredients. That’s totally illegal and completely unethical. However, they made a boatload of money because the *secret ingredient(s)* worked! We were shocked, SHOCKED when stores had to stop selling it because it had undisclosed ingredients.
When I was in university, my friends and I discovered a product called Ultimate Orange.
Rinse. Lather. Repeat.
That is pretty common in the world of supplements.
The USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) had a great website on the long and harrowing list of supplements that are sold over the counter, but still cause athletes to test positive for cheating. Take a scroll through http://www.usada.org/substances/supplement-411/ when you are done reading all this.
I am not on an Estrogen Blocker. My taking Testosterone has not caused my E2 to change significantly. When/If that happens I will be using Arimidex.
Natural Testosterone Production
Yes, injecting T will certainly cause my natural production to slow or possibly stop. The good news is that there are several ways to deal with if it ever becomes an issue. They have been used to reverse the process successfully. When it’s a planned part of the therapy. It “turns the factory back on” so to speak.
You will also come across info about TRT and Cancer. It doesn’t have a definite link. Still, I have PSA tests done.
These are Peer-reviewed Medical Studies:
Here is more info:
Side effects / Negatives:
- I think I stink. I shower twice a day, yet I smell gross when I sniff my clothes. Interestingly enough, women have started telling me “how good I smell”, and asking “What are you wearing?”. Not just women that are close to me socially, women that I work with, friends of friends, women within sniffing distance make it a point to tell me how good I smell. Read Male steroid hormones and female preference for male body odor, from the Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyva¨skyla.
- Over the past few months, I have had 3 pimples. One on my neck, one on my chest, one on my back. They may be natural, they may be from TRT. Either way, they didn’t cause any problems.
- My feet get hot. Stop laughing. http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/burning-feet/basics/definition/SYM-20050809
More, solidly reliable info on how to use T, and how you can combine it with other things. I don’t use anything other than T, other men do -> http://tnation.t-nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_training_performance_bodybuilding_trt/trt_protocol_for_injections
To be clear, this is a serious decision. For me, the pros outweigh the manageable cons. I would rather use this than go through the tiredness and lack of “drive” that happens when T drops too low. I have always been 850-950. Once I hit my all-time low of 500, I FELT IT.
As I said before, as a man who courts danger, travels the world, and fights, I am not easily impressed or at a loss for words. That’s why when I say that after a few months of the TRT therapy I feel a world of difference, you should know I mean it.
Essentially, TRT is a “quality of life” issue.
No one dies without it, and it’s very, very cheap. So the Medical Industry rarely talks about it. There is almost no money to be made on it. It’s simple/cheap/effective. I did a brief questionnaire. I think it was a way for the Dr. to cover his bases. Essentially I said I was slow, lethargic, and gaining weight, but NOT suicidal or having grim thoughts. You do the same.
The Checklist that my Dr. used to see if I was eligible for TRT. http://www.issam.ch/tools.asp
If / When you start TRT
There are several ways to take T if you decide to. Intra-Muscular Injection is by far the most cost-effective, time effective, and stable way to do it. It’s only odd the first two times you do it because you think it is.
Your Dr. or nurse will probably offer to do your bi-weekly injections for you, for a price. Don’t do it. You are capable of doing it by yourself. Just remember, they will probably give you your first shot, in the butt, with a big needle, it will hurt. DON’T BELIEVE THAT IS HOW YOU HAVE TO DO IT! Just tell them to give you 1.25-1.5 inch, #23 or #25 gauge needles for you do it at home. A #23 is large enough to draw and inject the oil-based Testosterone, but small enough to not be painful when you inject yourself. For me anyway. Lots of other men I know only use a #23 to pull it into the syringe from the bottle, then switch to a #25 gauge needle to inject if you prefer. Either way, you will give it to yourself in the thigh. No, it won’t hurt. Here is the video I used as a reference for how I do my own. Skip to 1:40.
Like I said, all I will push is that you get your blood work done. After that, we’ll talk about trying it. If the numbers warrant it, I suggest trying it for 6-8 weeks. When you have a strong T level everything else falls into place, from exercise to eating better. Being leaner, eating better, having more stamina in the gym, and feeling better are all a part of a cycle of overall health.
I am open about the TRT with my friends and some have been upset that I would rather be proactive about my health than reactive if I had diabetes, high cholesterol, or obesity! If I had to take insulin, I would get sympathy since I’d be fat, sad, and miserable. Because I choose to win, I am ridiculed.
Good thing I’m used to it!
If you have a question I didn’t answer, let me know so I can tell you, and add it.
Remember, my goal is not for you to try using testosterone, the goal is to get you to take stock of your physical health, have a complete physical done, and then decide on a course of action that will improve your overall health.
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship contender Chael Sonnen really unpacks TRT being abused as Steroids and talks about why athletes use them! https://medium.com/the-cauldron/a-cautionary-chael-b45b0a65c73f
This American Life is an award-winning show that produced “220: Testosterone”. Its three separate stories about how it affects the lives of Men and Women.
If what I wrote helps, send $5 in BitCoin to this address.
It’ll buy me coffee to fuel my mind while I write!
YusefWateef (at) Gmail (dot) com