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My Journey with Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) – Part 2
On October 2nd I began testosterone replacement therapy to boost my testosterone levels. Part one is here. I've been on TRT for three weeks now, and here are my experiences so far. The tl;dr is that I have noticed no major differences yet (though have seen some minor ones) and that I'm still getting used to the entire routine.
-By Caleb Jones
My Current Supplements and Exercise Routine
I am currently injecting:
100mg/ml of testosterone cypionate twice a week
.25ml of HCG twice a week
1ML of a vitamin B compound twice a week
I am currently taking the following vitamins daily:
Vitamin C: 1000mg
Vitamin E: 400iu
Beta Carrotine: 25,000iu
B Complex (I may discontinue this soon because I'm injecting the same thing)
Vitamin D: 4000iu
Fish Oil: 1000mg
Chelated Zinc: 15mg
Ginko Biloba: 120mg (I'm discontinuing this as soon as the bottle runs out)
I also take an additional 1000mg of C and 1000mg of fish oil whenever I eat, usually an additional two times a day.
My current exercise routine is as follows:
1. Five days a week, a vigorous 30 minutes on an exercise bike first thing in the morning, as always.
2. Sometimes also I walk for 30-60 minutes in the evening on days when I have the time, which I usually do not.
3. Sex at least three times a week, as always, with my current group of active FBs and MLTRs. In the last two months or so, I've made a conscious effort to make my sex more vigorous and long-lasting in order to burn more calories. Multitasking, baby.
4. Weight lifting at the gym twice a week. Why only twice a week? I'm at a caloric deficit and time management is my primary goal, not muscle gain. At the moment, I am doing the following:
3x5 Bent Over Barbell Rows
3x5 Bench Press
Planks, 3 sets @ 45 seconds each
3x5 Standing Military Press
3x5 Chin Ups (assisted in my case, since my arms are disproportionately weak from my torso and I'm still overweight)
Planks, 3 sets @ 45 seconds each
I follow up every weight lifting session with 15-20 minutes on the elliptical machine to burn more calories for fat loss, and 10 minutes in the sauna to get rid of some extra sweat.
As I said, I am operating at a caloric deficit (tracking everything I eat with the LoseIt! app) so I don't expect huge gains, though since starting this weight lifting two months ago (even before I started TRT) I am still adding weight most days and getting bigger muscles (the one and only benefit of being an endomorph). Prior to this, I was only doing a very light, high-rep, low-weights routine with dumbbells.
I'm sure I'll plateau soon and get pissed, but for the moment the small-but-noticeable newbie gains are fun. I always try to push the 5th rep to failure or close to it, and immediately add weight if this is not the case.
Since I see some of you fitness know-it-alls poised over your keyboards about to tell me I'm doing this all wrong, I will say again that I will ignore any of these types of comments, and I will gleefully delete any comments that cross the line into drama-zone. I know it's hard for some of you, but control yourselves. Helpful advice is fine. Telling me I'm doing all this completely wrong is not.
Things I've Noticed So Far
I'm only just starting the TRT program, so honestly I haven't noticed much. But here are the things I have noticed:
1. Bigger-than-normal morning wood.
This is definitely the first thing I noticed. Most mornings I wake up with a boner like most men who have decent testosterone levels, but within about two weeks of TRT, my morning boners were like the damn Burj Kalifa. It's actually a little irritating. I'm trying to relax and roll over only to have Big Red stab my mattress and make me groan in pain. I have to adjust my equipment in the morning just to stay comfortable.
Sadly, at the moment I'm at an usual status where I have no MLTR who qualifies for the honor of spending the night with me. This is unusual for me but it does sometimes happen. So I have not yet had a chance to test drive my new and improved morning Iron Tower for some enhanced morning sex. I'm about to schedule someone for a sleepover next week so that will be fun.
Honestly, my sexual function during normal nighttime sex really hasn't changed (yet). I think there is a slight increase in performance down there, but that might just be my imagination, excitement, or placebo effect. But as I said in part one, this has never been a problem for me. It's possible that if I had low testosterone to begin with (which I did not at a total testosterone level of 584), I would have probably seen an improvement by now. I may have to wait a few more weeks for something really noticeable in my case. I guess we'll see.
2. Waking up earlier than normal.
This might be related to item number one, but I don't think so. Usually I'm in a dead sleep in the morning until my alarm wakes me up. After about two weeks on TRT, I started waking up about 10-15 minutes earlier than my alarm went off.
When I wake up, I'm still sleepy, but I have no desire to go back to sleep. Usually I just lay cozy and fantasize about my goals until my alarm goes off, then I get up.
One of the many benefits of TRT is that it improves your sleep. I wonder if I'm now sleeping better/deeper at night and thus am waking up earlier because of it. Interesting. If this keeps improving, and I'm able to wake up 30 minutes or so earlier and rested every morning, I'm going to be very happy. We'll see how this progresses. So far, those are the only changes I've noticed. I will keep you all updated. My Experience With the TRT Program So Far
Mixing hormones, screwing around with needles, and injecting yourself with fluids, if you've never done it before, is difficult. I have the hang of it now, but for first week or two I really screwed it up and had lots of trouble. I had to call the doctor several times, watch many YouTube videos, and finally had to have a comprehensive Skype video call with the doc to get it all straight.
Problems I had, all of which were my fault because I'm a dumbass, included:
Needlessly hurting myself because I was injecting the wrong places on my thigh.
Getting too many air bubbles in the fluids because of improper syringe technique.
Sometimes forgetting to alcohol swab the injection area.
Sometimes forgetting to aspirate before injecting, which means slightly pulling on the needle once it's injected to make sure you're not in a blood vessel.
Squirting excess fluid back into the vial after injection, which is a big no-no, in an attempt to save money and cleverly (i.e. stupidly) avoid bubbles.
Like I said, I've got a handle on everything now, but it was definitely a learning process. But that's the great thing about this. Notice all the things I did wrong, and yet I still didn't seriously hurt myself in any way nor disrupt the program. TRT is very safe, even if you're a dumbass about it like I was the first few weeks. That's it so far. I'll keep updating you as time goes on.
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lachie 2014-10-23 05:13:02
What made you go with cypionate over enthanate or some of the other esters?
Dawson Stone 2014-10-23 08:18:42
@BD I heard it shrinks your testicles. Have you not experienced that or does it take longer for that to happen. I do have a quick thought about your workout routine. Two of the leanest people I know do ZERO cardio. To be fair they aren't endomorphs like you but mesomorphs. The way I view it gaining muscle (lifting) is like owning and cardio is like renting. Every ounce of muscle you add will increase your basal metabolism rate (BMR) 24/7 but cardio will not. The bigger issue is that when people lose weight, often a significant amount (30%-50% is common) of the weight loss is muscle (thereby decreasing your BMR) and making it still harder to lose fat (the goal.) This is easy to verify with either a Dexa scanning machine (expensive) or if you can get access to it (my trainer has one) a Tanita scale (they cost like $2500 but you can find trainers like mine that have them.) I have done both and they gave me nearly identical readings. The great thing is they even tell you how much lean mass you have by body part (legs, arms, torso). This way you could optimize your fat loss and muscle gain and be certain your cardio wasn't indirectly making it harder to reach your goals. Just a thought.
Netbug 2014-10-23 08:28:23
Would you be willing to share the total monthly or weekly cost of the supplementation and testosterone?
Shameful 2014-10-23 09:29:05
Glad you are getting good results. The overall amount of T seems low but because it is a doctor and your goal isn't big muscle gains that should be fine, and such a low amount shouldn't need a prescription estrogen blocker. Having said that I would play around with Saw Palmetto, supposed to help the T stay T and not convert to estrogen. Also how is thyroid levels? Mine were good, but doc still got me on some to help boost weight loss and put my blood work in zone he wanted it.
Shameful 2014-10-23 09:31:57
@lachie Most doctors with prescribe cypionate, reason being is it stays in system longer and should be less injections. A more even curve if you will. Now cypionate can have more water retention effects then other forms but if not worried about shredded then no biggie. And if you are switch out or take stuff to pull the water out of the system.
Blackdragon 2014-10-23 10:09:34
What made you go with cypionate over enthanate or some of the other esters?Like Shameful said, it's the standard. Enanthate is pretty much the same as cyp and propiante is only for guys who are really concerned about athletic performance (and don't mind injecting every single day, which I didn't want to do).
I heard it shrinks your testicles.Yeah we discussed that in part one. The HCG I'm taking should prevent this since it maintains current natural testosterone production, however I'm sort of hoping it doesn't. I have very big balls (literally) that are a real hassle and would love it if they got smaller.
Two of the leanest people I know do ZERO cardio. To be fair they aren’t endomorphs like you but mesomorphs.Well, yeah. Mesomorphs are the luckiest people on earth and can lose weight by doing just about anything. Determining my body fat percentage is a good idea but not yet, since I have plenty of fat right now and don't need to worry about the specific percentage. When I get more lean this will become more important to me.
Would you be willing to share the total monthly or weekly cost of the supplementation and testosterone?Yep! I covered specific costs in part one. This time around there were zero costs, because I pay once every three months. In addition to some startup costs I talked about in part one, I'm currently paying around $580 once every three months. That includes the cost of all injections, materials (syringes, etc), and all the doctor's time.
The overall amount of T seems low but because it is a doctor and your goal isn’t big muscle gains that should be fine, and such a low amount shouldn’t need a prescription estrogen blocker.My estrogen levels are fine. I checked them. We'll be checking them again in about a month. And yes, I would like to get my total testosterone from 584 to 1000-1200 or so. That would be awesome.
Having said that I would play around with Saw Palmetto, supposed to help the T stay T and not convert to estrogen.I personally think just about all supplements are bullshit, besides creatine and a few vitamins. Just my opinion.
Also how is thyroid levels?Good. We'll be checking them again in about a month or so.
Mine were good, but doc still got me on some to help boost weight loss and put my blood work in zone he wanted it.That's interesting. Not sure if I want to mess with my thyroid levels if they're fine, but I will ask the doc about this. I am on the Vitamin B which is supposed to suppress appetite. We'll see!
Dawson Stone 2014-10-23 11:01:29
@BD You missed my point entirely. It isn't your body fat I was talking about I agree that doesn't matter for now. It is your lean mass I am talking about. The sooner you realize if you are cannibalizing muscle the sooner you can do something about it. If you lose 20 lbs and 10 of it is muscle you have really hurt yourself in terms of reaching your goals. Most people have no idea how big of a problem this is.
London Pua 2014-10-23 11:47:56
Hey BlackDragon, Long time reader here, I just wanted to say thank you for this AMAZING outstanding blog, Anyways a few questions: 1. what made you decide to start TRT? 2. in what circumstances would you recommend others take TRT? 3. I am 32 now, what is the average age you would think its reasonable for someone to start TRT? 4. and what are some possible side effects. Thank You.
Blackdragon 2014-10-23 12:10:26
1. what made you decide to start TRT?Many reasons but the biggest one: Energy levels. I want absolute, maximum motivation and energy levels, both now and as I get older. My lifestyle and goals demand it.
2. in what circumstances would you recommend others take TRT?If you're over age 35 and have any problems like often feeling unmotivated, reduced sexual function, trouble gaining muscle or loosing fat, or similar. Or if you're any age and your blood tests report very low testosterone levels.
3. I am 32 now, what is the average age you would think its reasonable for someone to start TRT?I can't answer that question because I'm not a doctor, but my laymen's understanding is around 35 or older, again unless your T levels are very low.
4. and what are some possible side effects.There are many possible side effects, which is why you need to be very careful, only do it under the close supervision of a good doctor, and take very frequent blood tests testing the crap out of everything for the first few months so you can adjust accordingly. I'm a nerd and love reading through my blood work so I was already doing frequent blood tests already, and not just for STDs.
Kurt 2014-10-23 12:14:56
Hey BD, good job. Since I Know Everything and especially that You're Working Out Wrong, it's difficult for me to refrain, but I will 😉 But on the TRT, definitely a bit soon to judge at 3 weeks but I'd say you're already seeing great results for such a short amount of time. Expect it to be firing on all cylinders by about week 8.
Sixtycanine 2014-10-23 13:15:47
New to your blog and love it. Personally I love TRT and have enjoyed the hell out of it. HCG really worked well for me in staving of testicular atrophy and overall improved sexual response. Its one thing to be rock hard all the time, but another to actually feel the 18 year old sensitivity - I credit the HCG for that. One thing that did happen to me though was I got my chick pregnant while on enough gear that I should have been functionally sterile. HCG worked a bit too well for me in that respect. Best of luck to you.
Blackdragon 2014-10-23 13:50:32
Its one thing to be rock hard all the time, but another to actually feel the 18 year old sensitivity – I credit the HCG for that.Very interesting. Can't wait to see if that makes a difference with me.
One thing that did happen to me though was I got my chick pregnant while on enough gear that I should have been functionally sterile. HCG worked a bit too well for me in that respect. Best of luck to you.Thanks for the warning and I had the same concern about HCG. I talked about this in part one, but I have a microscope and am going to be looking at my own semen to make sure I don't see any swimmers before I actually change any of my sexual behaviors. And if I never see a decrease in swimmers, I simply won't be changing anything. Safety first!
on the TRT, definitely a bit soon to judge at 3 weeks but I’d say you’re already seeing great results for such a short amount of time. Expect it to be firing on all cylinders by about week 8.That's great to hear. I was getting all impatient like a 5 year-old, thinking at two weeks, "Hey! Why don't I feel like Superman yet, dammit?" 🙂
freebird 2014-10-23 18:34:59
10x10 2014-10-23 21:01:51
BD, I have read that free testosterone levels are more important than total test levels. What are your free test levels? And how have they changed? I'm glad you're sharing this with us because alot of older guys will want to experiment with testosterone. I took a few cycles when I was a kid back before the internet even existed. Back then we where just throwing shit against the wall and hoping something stuck. But the drugs they have access to today are hardcore. Mel Gibson just blew up recently. He is definitely on something. If I did something like this I would definitely be monitored by a doctor, but I would love to see my 20 year old dick again. I've missed it.
Bellum 2014-10-24 00:00:14
@ BD I agree with Dawson Stone that your exercise routine could hinder muscle gain (especially once your fat reserves are depleted). It's also not optimized if you consider the time you put in to the calories your burn. I operated years on cardio and bodyweight excersises, but it was only when I combined jiu jitsu (burns around 1000calories/hour) with interval training (mountain hiking, running, swimming), a protein/vegetable rich diet and half a liter of half fat milk and honey after training that I experienced structural gains (63kg to 73kg). I.m.o., you should have a look at BJJ or judo, as it combines cardio and lifting (someone who is trying to submit you) and increases adrenaline and testosterone levels. Another benefit is that due to the adrenaline boosts during sparring little in life gets to you. From what I've read on your blog, I honestly think you would like it, as it's very rational, based on physics, with endless techniques to master.
Sixtycanine 2014-10-24 07:59:23
10x10 makes a good point about Free Test. I take half a tab of arimidex (anastrozole) once per week to prevent aromatization of the extra testosterone into estrogen (which will happen as levels elevate). Water retention (tight rings, "moon-face", etc.) can be a good indicator this is happening.
POB 2014-10-24 08:44:38
BD, even as an endomorph your primary goal should always be gaining muscle first then loosing the extra fat. My reasons: 1) more muscle = more calories spent = more fat burned 2) more weight lifting = less time in the gym 3) cardio sucks 4) long cardio sucks even more 5) more muscles = more testosterone You should lift 4-5 times a week on short intense sessions (40-50 minutes tops) focusing on compound movements and do cardio only 2-3 times AFTER the lifting session, a 30 minute MAX. Complete the cardio on your bed sessions. TRAINING: A good endomorph schedule: MON (BACK)+ Cardio TUE (LEGS) WED (rest) THU (CHEST AND ABS) + Cardio FRI (SHOULDER AND ARMS) SAT (BONUS Cardio) It could be a quick run at the park or any outdoor activity. SUN (rest) * You could add an extra cardio session on WED as Endomorphs can take the extra work because they usually have an excelent recovery rate. **if you have a big waistline cut the ab work to the minimum. DIET: Eat A LOT of proteins, eat enough good fats to fuel your body and cut the carbs to the minimum (they are the villain here). Endos retain A LOT of what they eat and carbs are the fastest macro to be absorved by the body (even the low glycemic ones). Also be aware of your daily caloric intake. As you're cutting to be lean, do the math on your BMR and cut just a little on your total to be on a slow and steady loss. The number one mistake people make is when they try to cut a lot on little time. You'll loose muscle and when you revert your diet all the fat comes back with extra. Supplements: Morning: a poly-vitamin (that's all you need if your blood test is normal) Pre-workout: a fruit (an apple is good) and BCAA Post-workout: protein shake: 3/4 low/zero carb Whey + 1/4 Waxymaze (don't do dextro because of the insulin spikes). Night-time: cut the carb and use the fish-oil here whith a time-release protein (red meat, Carnitine, etc) to prevent catabolism during the sleep. That's it.
Dawson Stone 2014-10-24 13:11:16
@BD Again my only point was that you should have the INFORMATION now to make the best decision. I am NOT saying you are doing it wrong but I cannot imagine why a guy as analytical as you wouldn't want the best information to make the best decisions and invest potentially all that time working against your own goals. As an example for a 250 lb man over 4 months: Example A - per lean measurement like Tanita or Dexa You lose 8 lbs per month 7 of fat 1 of muscle Example B You lose 10 lbs per month 5 of fat 5 of muscle Over 4 months here are the results: Example A: Body Fat% Before: 30% Total Weight Loss: 32 lbs Fat Loss: 28 lbs Muscle loss: 4 lbs Body Fat% After: 20.6% Basal Metabolic Impact: You will burn 115 MORE calories than in Example B Example B: Body Fat% Before: 30% Total Weight Loss: 40 lbs Fat Loss: 20 lbs Muscle loss: 20 lbs Body Fat% After: 26.2% Basal Metabolic Impact: You will burn 115 FEWER calories than in Example A The net result is in Example B even though you have lost more weight you lost WAY less fat and since fat is takes up 20% less space you will have lost less inches not to mention making your endomorphic metabolism that much slower forcing you to take in 115 calories just to maintain your new weight.
Dawson Stone 2014-10-24 13:14:48
Correction…Fat takes up 20% MORE space.
Free&Strong 2014-10-24 15:20:28
Hey BD, Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with TRT with all of us. As a man just entering his thirties, I know down the line that it's definitely something I'll look into. Hope things continue to progress for you in the quest to become a lean, mean, (even more) ass-kicking machine!
Blackdragon 2014-10-25 17:16:49
I have read that free testosterone levels are more important than total test levels.You're right. Technically, free T is what really matters. Though clearly if your total T is low, your free T is also going to be low.
What are your free test levels? And how have they changed?I haven't had my free T tested in quite a while, so I'm not sure. I will get it tested in about 2 more weeks, at the 45-day point, along with estrogen, red blood cell count, and everything else.
Zinc!Yes! I take it! Always have! And always make sure it's "chelated" zinc.
I take half a tab of arimidex (anastrozole) once per week to prevent aromatization of the extra testosterone into estrogen (which will happen as levels elevate). Water retention (tight rings, “moon-face”, etc.) can be a good indicator this is happening.My estrogen levels are great, but my doctor prescribed me a bottle of anastrozole to have handy only in case I need it when I test again in a few weeks. Only about 20% - 30% of men experience estrogen gains when on TRT, so hopefully I'll be one of the lucky ones and won't need it. So I have the bottle but I hope I'll never need it. The less pills/injections I need, the better. We'll see. I'll post my blood test results in a few weeks when I get them done.
John 2014-10-26 13:33:46
Hello Blackdragon. I have been reading your blogs for a couple of years. Have you thought of taking cold showers?
Paul 2014-10-26 20:21:39
I have been on Testo for a few years. I am 50+ and I was diagnosed with low T production (Hypogonadism). The normal T range is about 200-800 and mine was in the low 2's before going on the T. In short order it went up to the 600 range and I do notice improvement in libido, energy and over-all well-being. Some seem to think that going on Testosterone therapy will automatically help the average guy with otherwise no real T level problems. I don't recommend that. As we know, testosterone is a steroid, and it can be dangerous if not used properly, or used when not necessary. If anyone suspects they have low T, I suggest they get a T blood test to see what their level is. Then they can determine if going on Testosterone therapy would be useful.
Blackdragon 2014-10-26 23:14:05
Have you thought of taking cold showers?Not really. I have considered taking "James Bond Showers," where you start the shower warm and slowly make it colder as you shower, ending on a "cold shower." But it all seems like a lot of hassle for very limited rewards.
Some seem to think that going on Testosterone therapy will automatically help the average guy with otherwise no real T level problems.Well, the evidence is overwhelming that is indeed the case. But I'll find out for myself in a few months. I promise you that if in a few months I literally don't feel any different and experience zero improvements, I'll stop the program. I have a very strong feeling that won't happen though.
Cory 2014-10-28 13:15:24
BD, I'm curious about your programming on your deadlifts. Generally, deadlifts are stressful because they lack the "stretch" part that over movements. As a result, they tend to take a lot more out of you.
Blackdragon 2014-10-28 22:35:44
I'm not super interested in discussing the intricacies of certain exercises. This article is about TRT.
Five Stenson 2014-11-03 00:17:34
Whats up my long lost brotha!! Figured I'd chime in here as I just started looking at PUA sites again after just taking a break to work on other areas of life. Annnyyyways, gonna put my .02 cents in because I've been on hormone therapy my whole adult life. First as a self-presciber lol, as I was heavily into bodybuilding and every one of my friends was a competitive bodybuilder. Now I'm on it under full control of a doctor with all the lab tests. etc. Here's the breakdown on TRT and going to the gym. The TRT is only a catalyst. The main things are your routine and your diet. The ONLY way to gain lean muscle is with a high protein diet. For me that means if I want to get 'jacked' or 'huge' I gotta eat at least 4 meals a day; chicken, tuna, turkey, steak. 2-3 Protein shakes and a couple protein bars. The goal is to get 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, or basically 200 grams of protein per day, while maintaining a moderate level of carbohydrate. Without steroids/TRT you could do this for months or years and not see good gains because your body is constantly in an ever-shifting anabolic/catabolic state at any time of the day/week. So it's not using the training and food effeciently. Put the TRT in the equation and it all falls into place. You want gains at the gym you gotta train hard and heavy. No more than 6-8 reps. If you can get more than 8 without a spot you're using too little weight. If you can barely crank out six you've got too much weight on the rack/machine. Only train each body part ONCE per week. So Monday chest/tricepts, Tuesday back/biceps, Wednesday off, Thursday legs, Friday shoulders, weekend off or do some cardio. Eat clean. All the meats I mentioned above plus fresh fruits and veggies and clean carb source. Google to find out. And it's HARD. Eating will be a full time job. And the TRT with a hard and heavy training program will KEEP YOU FROM GETTING fat, and you'll actually gain muscle while losing fat. In fact it says so right on the package insert in every bottle of Testosterone from what I've seen. The Pfizer one's the funniest, it basically spells out that you'll get big with a high protein diet and heavy training lol. Anyways that's it in a nutshell. Any deviation from the above, well try it out. But the above is pretty much bodybuilding 101. Also testosterone is an unstable molecule and degrades rapidly in the body (hence the need for testicles or TRT) and it metabolizes into estrogen (E2, Estradiol)(makes you look bloated and watery) and DHT (gives you acne and makes your hair fall out). 100mg twice a week I would watch out for the above symptoms by about the 12 week point. You'd be surprised you can get by with a lot less of a dosage. If your total T level is up around like 800-1000 and you're getting side effects cut it back and ask for an anti-estrogen like Letrozole, Arimidex, Aromisin, etc. Good luck on the TRT bro!! -Five Stenson
Five Stenson 2014-11-03 07:45:48
Just read part one, a few extra things. At 584 ng/dL most doctors would NOT put you on TRT. For reasons that would take me too long to type. But to clear a few things up, the first thing TRT does is shut down your natural testorone production - COMPLETELY - especially at 100mg 2x week. Which means you're going to take a DIP in your testosterone level and likely feel worse (or the same) before you'll feel 'better' so to speak. And in the end you may not feel better taking the TRT due to side effects and just your body's response in general. Problem is, once you've shut down your body's natural production of testosterone, it's a whole other process and procedure to TRY and ramp it back up again. And your body may not respond, and you're on the TRT bandwagon FOR LIFE. This is one of the reasons I say at 40+ years of age with T level of near 600 to begin with, most doctors wouldn't touch a patient and prescribe TRT. If you're having energy problems and a bunch of other stuff there's a whole realm of drugs including antidepressants etc. that may be more the answer. Also in regards to the 'birth control' aspect - DO NOT be surprised if it doesn't work. Testosterone is not approved for this use for this specific reason. While the birth-control pills for women are 99%+ effective, injecting testosterone is perhaps only 50% effective as a contraceptive. I speak from experience on this one trust me. And that's also why most doctors won't even mention this as a benefit. You might luck out, or you might still see plenty of swimmers even after 4-6 months on TRT. Safety-wise for injection yes upper-out quad is correct. You want to go in though at a straight sideways angle from the left or right instead of straight into your leg. (In other word if there were a carpenters level on the needle it would always be parallel to the floor). There is no need to aspirate the syringe. I was told this by literally one the top TRT doctors in the country, the guy who quite literally wrote the book on TRT over the past decades. The chances of injecting 'into a blood vessel' are very low there's always some blood around somewhere, so you can skip it. Only alcohol the top of the bottle before you draw from, and alcohol your leg. NEVER EVER alcohol or touch in manner the needle itself. And NEVER ever ever ever put anything BACK into the bottle. When I read that I just about fell over. If you've done that you've contaminated the bottle and need to throw it out. Not sure if you're just working off of 1cc vials at a time or they gave you a 10cc bottle to work from. If you have a 10cc bottle and you've put anything INTO it, ditch it. And/or call the manufacturer (or even Pfizer who makes the brand name) and ask them what to do with it. Even the manufacturers contend that even under the most sterile conditions a 10cc vial will only be 'guaranteed' sterile by them for 30-60 days after you first pierce the rubber stopper. And that's without putting anything back into it omg. Any extra anything in the syringe goes in the trash or your sharps container. As a bonus tip, cypionate is THICK. Injecting with a 29 gauge needle is a decent idea to save on pain (I use 25 guage and it's little discomfort) but if you're trying to DRAW from the vial with a 29 gauge needle - omg no WONDER you're getting air bubbles. The cyp's too thick. You need to draw with a bigger needle diameter then switch the tip to inject. Here's what I do and is IMO the best way. Order either on your own through a med supply wharehouse or through your doc with a script a set of BD luer-lok syringes that are the syringe/needle combinations say in 23 guage for IM use, say part #309589 and use that to draw from the vial. And then order a box of 'needles only' like if you want 30-guage BD part#305128. (Note if you're going into your thing you want 1-INCH NEEDLES. Anything longer you'll go too deep. Anything shorter and you're just about guaranteed NOT to get into the muscle and you'll up more in the dermis/skin layer where the testosterone is wayyy less effect and wayyy more likely to turn into estrogen). First pull air into the syringe in the amount of what you intend to take from the vial. With the vial upright pierce the stop and inject the air till the syringe plunge stops at it's end. (this only time anything should go INTO the vial, in this case air). Then with the needle still in the vial INVERT the vial so the air is now all at the top of the vial, and then start to draw the cypionate into the syringe. This will cut way way down on any air. You'll still have some so while the needle is still in the vial you can pump the solution back and forth a bit to eliminate almost all air bubble. Since everything is inverted the air rise to the top 😉 When you've got your dose in the syringe, un-invert the whole deal, then take the needle/syringe out of the vial and re-cap the needle immediately. Then take the combo and hold it upright (needle end pointing up) and draw alllll the cyp into the syringe past the little plastic 'hub' part, then unscrew the bigger needle and screw on your 30g or 25g or whatever makes you comfy, then push the plunger back up and tippy-tippy-tap the minor air bubbles out. Don't worry if in the process a tiny bit of the solution squirts out of the needle. And do this with the smaller needle still capped. This way once you've completed this little process you can set it aside for a minute without the needle you're injecting with EVER TOUCHING ANYTHING. Then alcohol the hell out of your leg, pick the syringe/needle back up, uncap it, and inject. This way everything stays STERILE. You may have to read this a couple times but in the end I'm sure you'll get it and upon trying it realize how effective it is at keep the bottle and injection site completely sterile 100% of the time. After you're done dispose of your needles/syringe however you do, and before putting the bottle away re-swab the top with alcohol. What I do is store the vial in its original box and put it a zip-lock vacuum bag (the kind that comes with the little hand pump) and then vacu-seal it each time. Reason being, especially if you're got a 10mL vial - eventually you're going to put enough holes in that rubber stopper that POTENTIALLY based on where you leave it something naughty could work its way into the vial (which is why the manufacturers will never say openly they guarantee the vial sterile past 30-60 days), and the vacu-seal gives me extra piece of mind.
Blackdragon 2014-11-03 12:20:26
Hey Five. Thanks for the info but just about everything you said is stuff I already discussed. I've got a handle on the bubbles now with the 29 gauge needles (and yeah, cyp is THICK!). So far so good. I'm getting my next round of blood tests next week so we'll see what's what then.
New Hombre 2014-11-11 09:39:54
Question regarding your injections. Do you use three separate needles for the test, hcg and vitamin b or do you draw all them into a single shot?
Blackdragon 2014-11-11 11:25:38
Do you use three separate needles for the test, hcg and vitamin b or do you draw all them into a single shot?Sadly, they are all separate needles, separate injections. HCG and Testosterone must be injected on separate days. It's the one thing I hate about the routine; the number of injections per week I have to do. My current schedule is this: Monday - Vit B injection, HCG injection Tuesday - Test injection Friday - Vit B injection, HCG injection Saturday - Test injection I quickly inject the Vit B and HCG one after the next. It's a lot of injections, but I'm at the point now where I can do them very, very quickly, so it bothers me less than I initially thought it would.
trtguy 2014-12-03 14:34:15
FWIW: I've been doing TRT for over 2 years with cypionate. Good that you've settled on semi-weekly and have added the hCG cotherapy, instead of those medieval once-every-3-weeks office visits some docs insist on. You don't need big needles, or even IM administration, for T-cyp or hCG. I use 31g 5/16" 50uL insulin needles for both and inject directly into subcutaneous belly fat. Been doing it for 2 years without a hitch with blessing of urologist. Far less painful, less wasteful of T oil, better all round. It takes a while to draw into 31g needles, but just pull & hang the vial for 5 min. T-Nation TRT forum has some discussion of this method, it's based on a pilot study (N=200+) that found no issue with subQ T is fat-soluble, and other TRT methods involve planting pellets in subQ fat or topical absorption thru skin/fat layers.
kurt 2015-12-30 22:48:43
From one TRT user to another, use arimadex man. Your doing it wrong.
Think Testo 2016-03-11 10:32:50
I also started the TRT treatment last week with a mild Testo-GEL prescribed by my doctor as I have low T. You can check my newly released blog about my own TRT experience here : thinktesto.wordpress.com Keep up the good work !
Craig 2016-08-05 09:14:18
Bro why you even in trt a test reading of 583 ain't low. This is a genuine question. I'm curious and also surprised a doctor would give you trt on that level when the average guy in his early 20s is about 650
Blackdragon 2016-08-05 10:53:11
If the average guy in his 20s is 650, then 583 is low. It's not very low, but it's low. A guy who is 18 has it at 900-1300, so now 583 is very low. I don't want T levels low for a guy in his 20s. I want them where they used to be when I was 18 or close to it. Initially I wanted to go to 1200, but my doctor said that was way too high, and he kept me down to around 900, which is where I am now. I feel way better, and am much healthier objectively speaking, at 900 than I ever was at 583. I now agree that going beyond 900 is dangerous and unwise, but going to 800-900 is a great idea.
Craig 2016-08-06 03:36:52
Hey Blackdragon, thanks for the info. For what it's worth, levels at 900+ tend to be in the top 5% for that age range. There are other things to take into account for instance increasing V02 max (ie increased aerobic fitness) corresponds directly with increased dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Why is this good? Because it's a very potent derivative of testosterone occurring naturally in the body - about 2 to 3 times more powerful than test, and also it cannot be aromatized into estrogen (like Test can) and the aromatization of test to estro is thought to be involved in promoting cancer aggressiveness. So there is more to the picture than a T reading. HOWEVER, I am getting my Test reading done next week, out of curiosity, and take it from there. I'm glad you're feeling way better which is the main thing, i'm just trying to take into account all the variables before jumping into anything rash ie a high number always hits the punchline but it doesn't mean it's always the best head line. Thanks for sharing what you're up to.
daniel 2017-02-13 21:48:42
You now agree that going above 900 is dangerous and unwise. Mind sharing how you came to that conclusion? I'm curious too about the muscle gains because from all the research I've done, increasing testosterone within normal ranges, even doubling your current levels, is not going to impact this in a measurable way. You have to the huge numbers that steroids afford for that. Why did you go with the injections instead of a gel or patch?
Blackdragon 2017-02-13 22:26:36
You now agree that going above 900 is dangerous and unwise.Incorrect. Going above 1200 is dangerous and unwise. Above 900 but lower than 1200 is probably fine.
Mind sharing how you came to that conclusion?Talking to several doctors.
I’m curious too about the muscle gains because from all the research I’ve done, increasing testosterone within normal ranges, even doubling your current levels, is not going to impact this in a measurable way. You have to the huge numbers that steroids afford for that.Going on TRT will help muscle gain, but yeah, if you want to turn into a freak, you'll need steroids, which are extremely unhealthy. Those things blast your T levels above 2,000.
Why did you go with the injections instead of a gel or patch?Because you can't modify the dosages based on your body or changing conditions with the gel or patch. With injections it's easy, and I indeed had to modify things several times to get it all right for my body; that would have been impossible or very difficult with the gel/patch.
jack 2017-02-19 17:55:03
Are all those vitamins you are taking related to the TRT, or are you taking them incidentally and just informing us for completeness? If they are related to the TRT would you share how/why you decided to include them?
kyle 2017-03-13 00:08:38
Here's a theoretical question I'm curious to hear your answer to. Although I feel that sex is probably the most enjoyable thing about being a man, at the same time, I have often found myself looking forward to old age and what comes with it: my dick not giving a shit about women anymore. I have often thought about how much more time, money, and accomplishments I would have under my belt, if not for the pursuit of sex. This TRT, not only costs a good bit of money, but it also makes you want MORE sex, which also equals more time and more money spent on women. Imagine eating a meal and just being full for the rest of your life. Say you could do that with sex. Just be full. No desire. Over it. Would you consider it?
Blackdragon 2017-03-13 12:44:41
Are all those vitamins you are taking related to the TRT, or are you taking them incidentally and just informing us for completeness?Completeness.
If they are related to the TRT would you share how/why you decided to include them?More detail here.
Here’s a theoretical question I’m curious to hear your answer to.Your question is so good that I'll write a future blog post about it. Check in then.
bill 2017-03-23 18:03:50
Let's see, testosterone levels at around 1000 are typical literally at the peak of adolescence, right at 18 years old, and begin declining from there. A quick trip down memory lane, and I remember very clearly what that was like. I remember being in high school, basically sitting in class with an erection ALL DAY. Did I have a hell of a lot more energy than I do now? Yes. Was ANY of that energy spent on things like concentrating, or getting work done? Hell no! I spent it staring at girls' asses all day long. Even when I had a girlfriend, it was useless. I remember blowing 8 loads in one day, and it did not matter at all. I was't any less ill at ease. The only difference was that my dick fucking hurt, and I still couldnt think of anything other than sex. So, yeah, I'm in the "wtf would you want to have more sex drive or a return to that youthful drive?" camp I guess lol. I am much, much happier than I was in high school. Very curious to hear what BD has to say in the article.
Raymart 2019-01-06 19:41:03
Really good and interesting article, for those who want to know more about testosterone replacement therapy or hormone optimization just visit https://virilityinc.com/.
AAI Rejuvenation Clinic 2019-01-06 19:46:11
Who Has Been Using Testosterone Without, Supporting Medication, The Risk is Heart Risk, Atrophied or Sometimes Permanently Damaged? Your physician needs to consider which side effects that you are most at-risk from when they are structuring your healthy and effective testosterone replacement program. For example, different people will experience different issues such as: • High blood pressure • Excessively high prostate-specific antigen levels, which are a potential indicator or prostate cancer • Diabetes • High red blood counts (thick blood) • Elevated cortisol levels • Cardiac problems Therefore, having all available medical is critical if you are to experience a program that frees from negative side effects. Any ailments you suffer from or at high risk of will also dictate the nutraceuticals and additional supplements that are incorporated into your injections protocol. An example program is as follows (NOTE: that the exact drug and dose prescribed will depend on the specific information contained within each patient medical file, as well as the individual patient goals): • Day 1. 50–250 mg of testosterone by injection • Day 1 or 2: One estrogen blocker or inhibitor by mouth • Day 3. One injection of a B-vitamin or amino acid • Day 5. One estrogen blocker or inhibitor by mouth • Day 6. One injection of a testosterone secretagogue (250–800 units) • Day 7. One estrogen blocker or inhibitor by mouth (sometimes two estrogen blockers a week is enough, depending on the patient file) • Day 7. One injection of a testosterone secretagogue (250–800 units) This weekly cycle would normally continue for 6–9 months, before a break period in which the body is allowed to normalize and reactivate. Remember that when you are artificially manipulating your testosterone levels, some other functions of the body stop operating since endogenous testosterone production is shut down because of the presence of high levels of the exogenous hormone. The break period normally referred to as the post cycle therapy (PCT), consists of medications that are formulated to reactivate the dormant systems that were not being used while your testosterone therapy was being administered. THE BASIC FUNCTIONS THAT NEED TO BE RE-ACTIVATED ARE: • FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone; stimulates sperm production in the testes) • LH (luteinizing hormone; stimulates testosterone production in the testes) • Estrogen accumulation after extended periods of high testosterone levels • Water retention, decreased libido, and other side effects associated with high estradiol levels from a past cycle of testosterone http://www.aaiclinics.com/treatments/testosterone-therapy/what-are-the-treatments-for-low-testosterone/
Vincent 2019-01-07 04:16:30
Your question is so good that I’ll write a future blog post about it. Check in then.Did you already write this and I missed it..? (The question was, paraphrased, "why would you want to increase your libido?")