TRT to Supraphysiological Levels for Body Building

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DS3

Well-Known Member
Your first question doesn't follow from the information above. Perhaps you could rephrase as "Why are you so jaded about abuse of exogenous testosterone to raise T levels to above physiologic range in a subject with fully functional HPTA?" or something like that. Then yeah, I'd agree I'm jaded about doing that expecting a free ride.

On your second question if "it" refers to the revised "it" in the last paragraph, then then answer is No.

I'd like to think I have moved off the Peak of "Mt Stupid":

But hey, everybody has to learn what works for them.
Jaded.
 
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readalot

Member

Excellent contribution to the thread. Thanks.

Tell me more on how the OP should go about his "exogenous T" adventure. Maybe you can help him and others as well with your wisdom.

Really spell out what the OP should do after his first "safe" cycle as a genius over at TNation likes to call it. It's a slippery slope but maybe you have it figured out. Do tell.
 

DS3

Well-Known Member
Hi All,

I'm a male, 32, with normal/solid levels of testosterone (650 ng/dl TT). I've been exercising on and off since I was a teenager but have only been on a proper weightlifting and diet protocol for the past 6 months with a professional bodybuilder with my main goal being to obtain a great body. I’ve seen some modest improvements in my physique, however, my genes are just not suited to gain fat free mass commensurately with the effort I put into my diet and exercise routine. To get the same results most people would, I’d have to work out twice as hard and with a perfect diet (weighing food, eliminating refined sugar, managing calories and fat intake to an extreme degree, etc.), essentially indefinitely.

I understand the importance of patience and I'm willing to wait to see results, but the point is that the sacrifice is just too great if it means doing this forever. Eating rice, broccoli, and chicken breast is no way to live, especially because I'm a huge foodie and amateur chef and enjoying unhealthy meals is a principal enjoyment of life for me. Thus, I’m exploring TRT to increase my TT to the 1,100 range ng/dl as a means of giving me the ability to get a great body while maintaining a somewhat normal diet. Of course, I’m no fool and understand that TRT is not a magic cure; I’ll still have to monitor my diet, consume proper amounts of protein, and maintain a consistent exercise routine regardless of any exogenous means of enhancement. But the hope is that TRT will obviously give me a solid edge so that the results are more commensurate with the sacrifices I’m making.
Here is the problem; you’re expectations of what it takes to maintain a state of leanness with noteworthy muscle mass is off. Very few individuals can maintain a noteworthy lean body with impressive muscle mass without perfect diet; that is one of the biggest differentiators. Steroids notwithstanding, disciplined eating along with disciplined training are the two most important factors in attaining an impressive physique. I was involved in the world of bodybuilding for 10 years. There is a reason top pro bodybuilders carry their perfectly laid out meal prepped diet with them everywhere they go.

Because your expectations of the overall discipline involved in attaining the physique you want is skewed, your dietary efforts are lazy. I will go so far as to confidently say your overall efforts are lazy. Mentally, you aren’t ready to attain the physique you are searching for. That is your reality. Whether you accept that or not is what will determine if you actually attain your desired physique or not.
 
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DS3

Well-Known Member
With that in mind, I’m trying to understand whether it is worth the risk to see the results. But most discussions on this forum are centered on older men who want to bring their T levels up to normal ranges (i.e. as a treatment for those who are medically indicated for it) rather than people like me who are pursuing it mainly for aesthetic reasons. So I’m not really sure what the risks are… So the main overarching question is:

Is taking TRT at a relatively young age when my levels are normal and bringing them to supraphysiological levels (1,100-1,200 ng/dl TT) for an extended period of time (many years) risky to my health assuming I am following the monitoring and management targets set by Nelson (hematocrit, blood pressure, etc.) to ensure there are no signs of cardiovascular or other issues? Essentially, what I’m asking is: what are the risks of increasing testosterone to supraphysiological levels over the long term?

[Same question for HCG]
[Same question for HGH, specifically Ipamorelin + CJC-1295]

Most of the studies I’ve seen show that TRT improves nearly all-cause mortality when increased from pathologically low levels up to normal levels, but I haven’t been able to find any data on supraphysiological levels. @madman shared a great post that showed that there are risks to neurological health with supraphysiological doses (Androgen abuse and the brain) but he used the catchall term of ‘androgens’ and the studies he referenced mentioned ‘AAS’, so I wasn’t able to determine if this was limited specifically to TRT or if it included synthetics (i.e. steroid abuse) as well.

By the way, I didn’t mean to bore everyone with a full background on my life story and reasoning; I’m just trying to pre-empt the inevitable responses that are some iteration of “it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, which is what most doctors would say; that is, that I shouldn’t increase my T levels when they are already in healthy ranges purely for aesthetic reasons. I respectfully disagree. According to that logic, nobody should get nose jobs or breast implants. There’s nothing “wrong” with using modern technology to improve your appearance. It’s just a question of risk and reward, according to each individual’s risk tolerance and goals in life. For example, using anabolic steroids will provide immense improvements, but the pros are outweighed by the cons in this instance. It’s a personal decision, as I’m sure many of you would agree with.

Thank you all so much!

@Nelson Vergel
@Vince
TRT patient here who started exogenous testosterone at 19. One cycle; no recovery. Dedicated much of my free time in my early 20s to bodybuilding. Psychological effects of high dose stacked cycles are pronounced in many individuals; social paranoia, aggression, domestic violence, insomnia, decreased cognitive function and memory recall, etc.).

As much as I like to mess around with @readalot, taking exogenous testosterone comes with clear risks to shutting down your HPTA, sometimes permanently after a single cycle (case study talking right at you). IF you are not permanently shut down after your first cycle, you also run the risk of not making a full recovery, meaning only partial HPTA function returns, rendering you with lower endogenous testosterone than you started with.

Aside from HPTA shutdown, here is the biggest risk: addiction. Steroids are as addictive, psychologically, as any kind-altering drug out there. I’ve never met a person who’s only done one cycle, and I’ve never met a steroid user who didn’t exhibit clear signs of addiction.

Now, I am a realist. The statistics of steroid users are not in your favor. The chances that you come away from your OP and actually take exogenous testosterone is higher than you refraining. On that note, there is no scientific consensus on the effectiveness of any PCT protocol, nor dose or length of duration. Typical initial cycles last 8-12 weeks (12 for longer ester testosterone preparations like enanthate or Cypionate). Testosterone does not have to be run at 500 mg per week to gain muscle; any dose that puts you into supraphyiological range will add muscle. @Nelson Vergel Cites 125 mg or more per week as being the magic number. HCG should be run at 500 IU twice per week to maintain healthy testicular function. Clomid and Nolvadex should be run after your cycle as PCT.
 

Nelson Vergel

Founder, ExcelMale.com
Let’s hope this thread does not deteriorate into name calling. It is a fair discussion that sometimes we suppress on this site.

I was compelled to get involved since the original poster had done some reading and also due to the fact that we do a disservice to the world by not answering his question. Thousands of young men are having the same question. Social media, TV, movies and marketing companies have been promoting a muscular body for years. Look at all the super hero movies. Look at advertising aimed at young men.

I got into bodybuilding over 35 years ago because I was going to die if I did not. But that does not make me a better person than a 25 year old man that wants to try steroids in an educated way. I hope the knowledge I gathered through my experience can serve as “risk minimization” for younger men.
 

readalot

Member
By the way, I didn’t mean to bore everyone with a full background on my life story and reasoning; I’m just trying to pre-empt the inevitable responses that are some iteration of “it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, which is what most doctors would say; that is, that I shouldn’t increase my T levels when they are already in healthy ranges purely for aesthetic reasons. I respectfully disagree. According to that logic, nobody should get nose jobs or breast implants. There’s nothing “wrong” with using modern technology to improve your appearance. It’s just a question of risk and reward, according to each individual’s risk tolerance and goals in life. For example, using anabolic steroids will provide immense improvements, but the pros are outweighed by the cons in this instance. It’s a personal decision, as I’m sure many of you would agree with.

Here's a fun thought experiment we could discuss. What information do you have that gives you the impression running your TT levels high continuously (otherwise what's the point?) is less risky than periodic cycles of say oxandrolone at 20 mg/day for 8 weeks a few times a year (obviously don't do this without a TRT base to begin with)? Risk will be related to AUC and if you think testosterone is reasonably innocuous then you'll have the propensity to not cycle Test but instead just "cruise" at high TT levels. No point in Test cycles unless you have TRT/cruise dosing backing you up on the "off" period.

That's the fun thing about abusing testosterone, once you start it will titrate you up past the dose with optimal benefit/risk ratio (it's only human nature). @DS3 states, it's a slippery slope. @DS3, mess with me all you want as long as you keep the good content and grammar coming like the last two posts. Good work.

Personally, if I hadn't hit a brick wall with my heart scare and ongoing challenge, I'd be pushing it with the anabolic therapy. It's all fun till you take that ambulance ride.
 

readalot

Member
I got into bodybuilding over 35 years ago because I was going to die if I did not. But that does not make me a better person than a 25 year old man that wants to try steroids in an educated way. I hope the knowledge I gathered through my experience can serve as “risk minimization” for younger men.
It doesn't make you a better person but it puts you in a distinctly different place in terms of risk / reward considerations vs a 25 year old with intact HPTA and no risk of catabolic disease. Same goes for a 45 year old man on TRT vs a 20 year old.


Let’s hope this thread does not deteriorate into name calling. It is a fair discussion that sometimes we suppress on this site.

I was compelled to get involved since the original poster had done some reading and also due to the fact that we do a disservice to the world by not answering his question. Thousands of young men are having the same question. Social media, TV, movies and marketing companies have been promoting a muscular body for years. Look at all the super hero movies. Look at advertising aimed at young men.
Understood and great point. Looking forward to reading more as this thread continues. I agree with you that folks should have choice in their access to AAS without the risks that come with how they've been forced underground. We also owe it to people to give a clear picture of the risks, and apriori no one knows how an individual will respond. Going in I sure didn't give enough consideration to the possibility that my heart was much more a responder to AAS than my skeletal muscle.

AAS and testosterone risk/reward consideration has historically been characterized as anabolic/androgen ratio. But various anabolic responses in organ and skeletal muscles as well as autonomic dysfunction are underappreciated IMO.

Thanks Nelson.
 
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DixieWrecked

Well-Known Member
Here is a question for anyone because I think it pertains to this thread with the risk/reward concept.

AAS including Testosterone have a reputation of making people feel great, but my experience has been completely different. While I have made good gains in the gym, I can't workout as hard because I am not as mentally driven as I was pre-TRT. If I was more driven I could make some really serious gains. In general my mental health gets worse the more AAS I have in my system and this isn't just with Testosterone, but also Nandrolone and Oxandrolone. So basically every category of AAS.

Am I an outlier or do most people end up having these issues?
 

DS3

Well-Known Member
Here is a question for anyone because I think it pertains to this thread with the risk/reward concept.

AAS including Testosterone have a reputation of making people feel great, but my experience has been completely different. While I have made good gains in the gym, I can't workout as hard because I am not as mentally driven as I was pre-TRT. If I was more driven I could make some really serious gains. In general my mental health gets worse the more AAS I have in my system and this isn't just with Testosterone, but also Nandrolone and Oxandrolone. So basically every category of AAS.

Am I an outlier or do most people end up having these issues?
I am the exact same as you in this regard. Most guys cycling steroids exhibit some degree of decreased mental health; most of whom when asked deny it despite a clear degradation to observers.

I don’t think you are an anomaly. However, the doses you use are very low in a bodybuilding context. I personally believe our extreme mental responses to low doses is out of the norm. But, some mental side effects are present in most guys using high doses.

Self-awareness and response fidelity (honesty) are two key limiting factors in self-report.
 

Nelson Vergel

Founder, ExcelMale.com
If I was more driven I could make some really serious gains. In general my mental health gets worse the more AAS I have in my system and this isn't just with Testosterone, but also Nandrolone and Oxandrolone. So basically every category of AAS.

Am I an outlier or do most people end up having these issues?

I used to minimize claims that anabolics affected mood.

Testosterone and nandrolone made me feel great while I was recovering from HIV wasting, but beyond that time I cannot say I had the same drive and stamina/strength.

As I get older, I am more in touch with my mood and how situations, medications and other factors affect it. I think life is too short to deal with low mood that you can prevent by avoiding things that may trigger it.

I have used oxandrolone, nandrolone and trenbolone in my younger years and I cannot say if my strong type A+ personality got worse back then, but I remember now how I really needed to "be right" a lot more frequently than I do now.

I again tried oxandrolone (20 mg per day) with TRT a year ago, and within days I noticed a lot of negative thoughts about people I work with. I got off oxandrolone and that mood cleared out within days. I ran into more data on DHT analogs like oxandrolone and their potential effect on 5 alpha reductase. I realized that this drug may have the same effects are finasteride.


Of course, this has not been proven at all by any data.

Everyone eventually hits a "wall" when using AAS long term. Mine was high blood pressure. I also hated the drastic decrease in HDL and the increased hematocrit associated with using them. I think many bodybuilders end up having kidney issues caused by long term unresolved high blood pressure. Some end up in dialysis.

Younger guys tend to have issues with severe acne or folliculitis. Look around your gym and see how some guys' shoulders and backs are full of red spots.

Some don't regain fertility after long term AAS use even with hCG, clomiphene or tamoxifen.




 

Gman86

Member
I used to minimize claims that anabolics affected mood.

Testosterone and nandrolone made me feel great while I was recovering from HIV wasting, but beyond that time I cannot say I had the same drive and stamina/strength.

As I get older, I am more in touch with my mood and how situations, medications and other factors affect it. I think life is too short to deal with low mood that you can prevent by avoiding things that may trigger it.

I have used oxandrolone, nandrolone and trenbolone in my younger years and I cannot say if my strong type A+ personality got worse back then, but I remember now how I really needed to "be right" a lot more frequently than I do now.

I again tried oxandrolone (20 mg per day) with TRT a year ago, and within days I noticed a lot of negative thoughts about people I work with. I got off oxandrolone and that mood cleared out within days. I ran into more data on DHT analogs like oxandrolone and their potential effect on 5 alpha reductase. I realized that this drug may have the same effects are finasteride.


Of course, this has not been proven at all by any data.

Everyone eventually hits a "wall" when using AAS long term. Mine was high blood pressure. I also hated the drastic decrease in HDL and the increased hematocrit associated with using them. I think many bodybuilders end up having kidney issues caused by long term unresolved high blood pressure. Some end up in dialysis.

Younger guys tend to have issues with severe acne or folliculitis. Look around your gym and see how some guys' shoulders and backs are full of red spots.

Some don't regain fertility after long term AAS use even with hCG, clomiphene or tamoxifen.





That’s interesting about dht analogs acting like finasteride. My DHT was about half of what it usually was while using 15mg of Oxandrolone per day, but I was also using low dose exogenous progesterone, which can inhibit DHT from my understanding, so wasn’t sure if it was the Oxandrolone or prog that caused my DHT to be so low. Definitely could of been the Oxandrolone

Would any DHT analog most likely have this effect?
 

Gman86

Member
@Nelson Vergel have u ever tried using nandrolone again since using it back when u were first dealing with muscle wasting issues? Like have u tried adding it to ur TRT protocol at all?

Also, what was ur test and nandrolone doses when u originally used them together and felt great?

And lastly, how many years did u use that combo together?
 

Nelson Vergel

Founder, ExcelMale.com
Stanazonol had the same effect on me. Another thing: my estradiol was undetectable on either one.

I think they are DHT analogs but they actually may bring down DHT blood test levels just as hCG (a LH analog) shuts down LH blood levels. As DHT analogs, they may also suppress estradiol.
 

Gman86

Member
Stanazonol had the same effect on me. Another thing: my estradiol was undetectable on either one.

I think they are DHT analogs but they actually may block DHT production just as hCG (a LH analog) shuts down LH. As DHT analogs, they may also suppress estradiol.

Wow so 20mg/ day of Oxandrolone had ur E2 at undetectable levels?

What dose of stanazolol were u using when ur E2 came back undetectable?
 

DS3

Well-Known Member
I used to minimize claims that anabolics affected mood.

Testosterone and nandrolone made me feel great while I was recovering from HIV wasting, but beyond that time I cannot say I had the same drive and stamina/strength.

As I get older, I am more in touch with my mood and how situations, medications and other factors affect it. I think life is too short to deal with low mood that you can prevent by avoiding things that may trigger it.

I have used oxandrolone, nandrolone and trenbolone in my younger years and I cannot say if my strong type A+ personality got worse back then, but I remember now how I really needed to "be right" a lot more frequently than I do now.

I again tried oxandrolone (20 mg per day) with TRT a year ago, and within days I noticed a lot of negative thoughts about people I work with. I got off oxandrolone and that mood cleared out within days. I ran into more data on DHT analogs like oxandrolone and their potential effect on 5 alpha reductase. I realized that this drug may have the same effects are finasteride.


Of course, this has not been proven at all by any data.

Everyone eventually hits a "wall" when using AAS long term. Mine was high blood pressure. I also hated the drastic decrease in HDL and the increased hematocrit associated with using them. I think many bodybuilders end up having kidney issues caused by long term unresolved high blood pressure. Some end up in dialysis.

Younger guys tend to have issues with severe acne or folliculitis. Look around your gym and see how some guys' shoulders and backs are full of red spots.

Some don't regain fertility after long term AAS use even with hCG, clomiphene or tamoxifen.




This may be the singular most meaningful post I’ve ready on Excelmale. Thank you for your candidness and insights @Nelson Vergel . Mental health and AAS is an incredibly important topic
 

Nelson Vergel

Founder, ExcelMale.com
@Gman86 yes. I have tried nandrolone with TRT again but my bloat is bothersome.

I am lucky I am maintaining decent muscularity (although I weigh 12 pounds less than my usual 3 years ago) with 50 mg TRT twice per week with or without hCG.

The only supplements I never stop are 1000 mg Carnitine, 400 mg Coenzyme Q10, 5000 IU Vitamin D, digestive enzymes, melatonin gummies 5 mg, NAC 500 mg twice per day, vitamin C 1000 mg, and Magnesium threonate 1000 mg, and 3 caps of bacillus coagulans.

Because of back issues and a bad right hand, I work out using machines and cables three times per week.
 

Gman86

Member
@Gman86 yes. I have tried nandrolone with TRT again but my bloat is bothersome.

I am lucky I am maintaining decent muscularity (although I weigh 12 pounds less than my usual 3 years ago) with 50 mg TRT twice per week with or without hCG.

The only supplements I never stop are 1000 mg Carnitine, 400 mg Coenzyme Q10, 5000 IU Vitamin C, digestive enzymes, melatonin gummies 5 mg, NAC 500 mg twice per day, vitamin C 1000 mg, and Magnesium threonate 1000 mg, and 3 caps of bacillus coagulans.

Because of back issues and a bad right hand, I work out using machines and cables three times per week.

Any specific reason ur not taking vitamin D? Been doing a bunch of research about it recently, so jc
 

Nelson Vergel

Founder, ExcelMale.com
Something I have probably seldom shared on here is the fact that one of the drugs (Zerit) that saved us for a while in HIV also caused nerve damage AND death of fat cells under the skin. The term for the fat loss is lipoatrophy. We had facial and buttock fat wasting because of this drug. Most of the few of us left alive after 35 years are very lean because of that (I was lucky not to get neuropathy with Zerit) and most had to have facial fillers to bring back a healthy look.

Other drugs increased our visceral fat as we lost subcutaneous fat. So, we have dealt with every possible body change from muscle wasting to visceral fat gain and subcutaneous fat loss. Part of me does not like talking about this stuff since I spent years being an activist on body changes.


Old site of mine



So, as you can tell, my interest on body composition and lean mass was not a “choice”. I was pushed into it by life. Learned a few things along the way for sure.
 
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