TRT is not something that I purposely chose, rather it chose me. I thought it was a fun topic to read about but I didn’t expect to take it seriously until at least my mid-30s. Life often has a different way of throwing us curveballs. Thankfully my life’s curveball exposed me to the amazing benefits of testosterone replacement therapy
Due to much online research and stumbling onto the writings of Jay Campbell, I received a male hormone panel blood test and it shockingly revealed I had low testosterone. 29 years old and sitting there with the blood levels of a geriatric. What am I going to do?
Looking back, I now know I had symptoms of low Testosterone for a couple years proceeding the test, but I took them for granted. I never even contemplated the possibility of low T in my 20s. Who at that age really does?
Sadly, I believe this affliction affects many more men just like me. Men who are suffering in silence because they either refuse to get checked or even worse, are evaluated by a Physician unaware to even check for Testosterone Deficiency. (TD)
So now at the age of 29, after a ton of research, interviewing multiple Doctors and even more back and forth personal deliberation (likely brought on by my low T), I decided to bite the bullet and choose a physician managed TRT protocol.
It’s important I tell everyone reading this, I spent hours pouring through Jay’s The Definitive TRT MANual (IMO, it is hands down the best book written about this very complex topic). I also spend a couple weeks reading various Excel Male Forum user experiences on TRT.
All of this information allowed me to feel informed enough to start down the path of TRT. Ultimately, no amount of reading can prepare you for the real life experience of supplemental Testosterone coursing thru your body.
After a couple of months of working with my Doctor, here are the 11 most noticeable benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy:
#1) Better Mood
I am a firm believer that your mood is the result of your thinking. However, when your hormones are out of whack, you don’t realize how much effect it has on your thoughts, as mind and body are truly one.
Before TRT, my moods were lower and subject to change, I remember having slumps, feeling down for days on end and I could never understand why I had no desire to work out.
Now I feel much more ‘on it”. It’s difficult to describe, but I feel as though my energy is more aligned. I still experience the ups and downs of life, but they are rare and I’m overall super positive. Testosterone just gives you that “YEAH, I GOT THIS” feeling.
#2) Increased Libido
Over time I noticed my interest in sex gradually diminished and I would feel ambiguous toward it. Thinking back on it, it seems pathetic a virile man in his late 20’s had a declining desire for SEX. Yikes.
Libido is one of the hallmarks of youth, and when it’s diminished you definitely notice the effect it has on your energy and vigor.
Libido can be a complex issue and is not necessarily solved by testosterone alone. In my case, TRT improved my libido to a level higher than I had experienced previously. It’s pretty cool to see some recently released studies validating my own experience.
#3) Improved Performance in the Gym
In the year prior to TRT, I became disillusioned with my training in the gym. I struggled tremendously to even put on a small amount of muscle.
I analyzed every aspect of my diet and training, I questioned myself: maybe I wasn’t training hard enough? Maybe my diet wasn’t that good after all? I’m no Mike Mentzer, but I thought my efforts merited a little more than I was getting. I figured because I had been training a few years that I had maxed out my genetic potential and couldn’t grow any more.
After undergoing TRT, it’s clear that my low T stalled my progress. Now I train with greater intensity and I have an unparalleled sense of urgency to kick ass during my workout. I have fewer ‘off’ days and the majority of my workouts I feel stronger with more stamina.
#4) Increased Lean Muscle Mass
Testosterone due to its affinity for the body’s androgen receptors allows you to increase lean mass, so you can reasonably expect to gain muscle while on TRT. However, this doesn’t happen by virtue of T alone. As the body is quite happy with the way things are, you have to put in the work if you want it to change. This means you need to eat above maintenance clean carbs and understand what your daily protein requirements are.
So far, I’ve gained around 10lbs while on TRT, but none of it came without busting my balls in the gym. While much of it is lean mass, I have no doubt some is water weight due to Testosterone’s ability to enhance glycogen storage capacity. All in all, I’m pleased with the results.
#5) Increased Assertiveness
There is no doubt that lower levels of testosterone lead to hesitancy and doubt. In the past I would second guess myself a lot. These days I feel more assertive and confident in my choices, instead of being paralyzed with indecision.
That’s not to say you’re going to turn into a Drill Sergeant overnight, optimal levels of testosterone just give greater clarity to your thinking and allow you to cut through the bullshit.
#6) Better Recovery
In the past if I had a heavy training day, particularly legs, I might be sore for several days. I still get muscle soreness (DOMS) after workouts, but it’s nowhere near what it was previous to using TRT. I also recover much quicker. In fact, I believe one of the unsung positive attributes regarding TRT is the ability to speed healing especially with soft tissue injuries.
#7) Becoming much better ‘dialed-in’
Interventional endocrinology is not an exact science and it’s constantly evolving. Every case is unique to the individual. In the beginning, you need to get your blood work CHEKD and then maintain ongoing follow up labs at 4-6 weeks to understand how your body is responding to treatment.
My Doctor and I carefully observed how I felt and we compared notes, He also had me experiment with different injection frequencies. I eventually found my ‘sweet-spot’ and can say I feel better toward the higher end of the optimal range of total testosterone levels(1100-1400). Other men (based on my reading) do perfectly fine at 600-800 total Testosterone ng/dl for example.
You must be patient and give your body time to become hormonally balanced between testosterone and estrogen. Every man is biochemically unique and what works for some may not work for others. It’s also why working with a progressive physicianexpert at balancing endocrine systems is crucial.
#8) Minimal Side Effects
I read a lot on Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) before I began and talked with a number of guys who were veteran users. I also sought out a well respected doctor who was supportive of my treatment. Because of these reasons, I’ve had minimal side effects.
Of course there are side effects, as with any drug you put in your body, but they can be minimized if not eliminated in many cases.
The only noticeable side effect I’ve suffered is some back acne while on TRT. This is due to higher DHT levels, as DHT increases production of oil in the sebaceous glands. This won’t happen to everyone and has not been a major issue for me.
As a side note, I have not suffered hair loss. I believe I’m not genetically predisposed to hair loss, so this is likely why. Even if I was, it wouldn’t stop me from experiencing the benefits of TRT. For me the choice is simple – I’d rather lead a quality life full of passion, energy and maximum effort than worry about losing my hair.
#9) Better Balance between Testosterone (T) and Estradiol (E)
Before starting TRT, one of my main concerns were the side-effects of too much estradiol, also known as E2. I think guys are paranoid about this subject in particular, after all the side-effects of high E2 aren’t so desirable; bloating, water retention and mood swings.
The truth is, if you take a clinical dose of TRT and inject in the right frequency for you, high estradiol is rarely a concern. What’s more, estradiol plays an important role in libido and other bodily processes, so messing with it may have unwanted consequences.
Personally, I feel just fine with my E2 toward the higher end of the range and have no side effects. Anecdotally, some guys take aromatase inhibitors (AIs) when there is no clinical need due to their Doctors being overly concerned about E2. Often times, they end up feeling worse for it.
#10) Injections are the Best Way Forward
Men tell me they don’t want to go on TRT because they don’t want to inject for the rest of their lives. I get it. I actually put it off for several weeks because of a similar concern.
But when I finally got my act together, guess what? It wasn’t so bad. I learned to backfill small needles (that are minimally invasive),and my injection process takes less than 30 seconds from start to finish. In, out, throw away the syringe in a sharps container. DONE.
I’d rather have the stability of injections rather than any other delivery system fraught with potential side effects and social inconveniences. I’ll go out on a limb and say most men use creams because they’re afraid of injections. Honestly, they don’t take much getting used to and they’re very simple once you know how to administer them.
#11) TRT *CAN BE* a Magic-Bullet
If you are woefully out of shape and have a crappy diet, TRT will not magically transform you into an Adonis.
TRT is however a fantastic adjunct to a healthy lifestyle. This healthy lifestyle MUST include a clean diet, minimal/zero alcohol consumption and regular resistance and cardio vascular training. If you do those things, you’ll definitely feel like a massively different person.