Is There a "Magic" Number?

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    Is There a "Magic" Number?


    If your goal is addition of muscle mass over a reasonable period of time (not 30 pounds in a month), is there a "magic" number for Total Test and Free Test?

    I know each person is different, diet impacts gains, sleep, etc., etc. However, all things being equal, is there a general rule of thumb level at which a good balance of Health/muscle gain can be achieved? My last labs were at 766 Total T and 265 Free T, all other results were in excellent ranges.

    Excerpt from another post using test results from older males (>65 years old). No indication of training, guessing little to none.
    A lot of time is spent on various discussion boards debating the merits of various doses of testosterone. Many experienced users feel that there is a minimum threshold dose required to notice gains in strength and size – and now there’s some scientific support to lend credence to this idea, at least when examining geriatric men. It seems that a testosterone level between 896-1046ng/dl is the minimum amount necessary to realize noticeable gains in lean tissue and strength. Based on some previous research by Bhasin et al., this probably translates to a minimum injectable dose of 200mgs/week of a long estered testosterone.

    Thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pappybay
    If your goal is addition of muscle mass over a reasonable period of time (not 30 pounds in a month), is there a "magic" number for Total Test and Free Test?

    I know each person is different, diet impacts gains, sleep, etc., etc. However, all things being equal, is there a general rule of thumb level at which a good balance of Health/muscle gain can be achieved? My last labs were at 766 Total T and 265 Free T, all other results were in excellent ranges.

    Excerpt from another post using test results from older males (>65 years old). No indication of training, guessing little to none.
    A lot of time is spent on various discussion boards debating the merits of various doses of testosterone. Many experienced users feel that there is a minimum threshold dose required to notice gains in strength and size – and now there’s some scientific support to lend credence to this idea, at least when examining geriatric men. It seems that a testosterone level between 896-1046ng/dl is the minimum amount necessary to realize noticeable gains in lean tissue and strength. Based on some previous research by Bhasin et al., this probably translates to a minimum injectable dose of 200mgs/week of a long estered testosterone.

    Thoughts?
    In 13 months of trt, I've went from ~185 to 203 as of today. my dose started at 100/week and my levels were in the 400's. Went to 150/week and that put me at 1100 3 days after injection. This dose screwed up all my labs, so I went down to 125/week. Labs were still screwed up so now at 50 every 4 days and levels are at 750 now 3 days post injection and labs are getting better.

    I've lost no bodyweight at the lower dose because at this point, it's all about diet and training. Don't really agree 850 is the min threshold to make/keep gains.

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    There is no magic number. When I was running 200 levels of nat test for years before getting on TRT, I was holding muscle and keeping my routine up. The problem was that it was taking me long recovery times and I was training at least twice as hard, which was increasing chances of injury. A lot of it also depends on how adapted your body is to training. I've been punishing my body for over 20 years.

    I maintain 700-900 levels and at 38 am setting PRs with the same amount of work I was putting in in my 20s. Weight has remained the same levels, but body comp has dramatically changed.

    This is in part when it kills me reading about people going on cycles that likely haven't put in 50% of the work they could achieve with their natty levels. You can will your mind and body to do a lot with a little.
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    I am not into the science as much as some guys are. I do know however, that determination, focus and hard work go way further than genetics or any hormones anyone can have.
    When I put my focus into those things, and what I was dealt with, the other things had little meaning as to where I got to.
    Push hard on your advantages and overlook stuff that is impossible to change.
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    kisaj and PaulBlack, well said.

    I for one have been working my %$$ off getting up and in the gym (home gym) almost every day (5:15 am), lifting progressively and eating well. My sleep could be better as I usually am hitting the bed around 10:30 -- 11:00 p.m. and I work in an insanely high stress industry (although the stress rarely gets to me).

    I guess the whole point of my question revolves around the best result for effort made. I am making gains and getting stronger. I am not afraid of hard work or workouts, I just want to make sure I am getting the best possible return for my investment. If most people are experiencing "best practice (a reasonable balance of heath versus rate of mass gain) results" at 200mg per week or 180mg per week and levels in the 850-950 range, then that is where I will venture.

    For now, I am going to add 250IU HCG twice a week and see if I get a little kicker...........
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    Using myself as a reference-

    On 200 mg a week, I was around 1100 the day before injection, which told me (without labs to prove) that I was probably in the 1200-1600 range for most of the week. I gained about 10lbs pretty fast and gains in body comp came fast. I am naturally muscular, but this really changed things. But, I had sides like being very aggressive, kind of emotional, blood pressure went up, and I just wasn't "comfortable". This would be tolerable on a cycle but not sustainable on TRT.

    I'm now on 100 a week split into 50mg every 3.5 days. I am around 750-800 the day before injection and have no sides to speak of. It is very level, blood pressure went down, and I feel great. I've lost that 10 lbs, but strength is up and I have more energy than I did on a higher dose. Now I just add weight by adjusting my diet- you know, old school. lol

    So, I think in TRT, it is a point of diminishing returns and all about finding that balance that works for you. What works for me may not be for every one. Some guys on here still take an AI on low doses, some go as low as 30mg, still some others are on a completely different protocol altogether. It's a journey, but worth it.
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    Yeah, doc has me on 200wk but I'm think about lowering it to 150 or less.... At 200 I hav ego make sure I take my anti e Ed and even then the gyno still gives me some issues.

    It's funny,(well not really) iv never really ran high doses but when I would cycle up I would go to 500mg test with normally EQ and didn't have as many problems as I'm havin on pharm grade at only 200mg wk... Makes no sense but that's what's goin on with me...
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    Thanks for the feedback. I am ordering the HCG today. I have a good baseline set of labs for LH levels and Estrogen.

    I may up the test to 180 per week after stabilizing on the HCG.
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    Why are you adding HCG?
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    Sorry I skimmed this post but 250iu of hcg as a kicker to boost test is pretty low, that dose is usually used to keep your boys pumping during a heavy cycle. Also to prevent the boys from shrinking.

    To use hcg as a test booster you need to does it 1000iu 3 times a week min. No more then 5000iu a week. Also use a ai because hcg will increase aromatization.
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    HCG made me fat, moody, and drained my wallet, but my balls looked spectacular.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kisaj View Post
    Using myself as a reference-

    On 200 mg a week, I was around 1100 the day before injection, which told me (without labs to prove) that I was probably in the 1200-1600 range for most of the week. I gained about 10lbs pretty fast and gains in body comp came fast. I am naturally muscular, but this really changed things. But, I had sides like being very aggressive, kind of emotional, blood pressure went up, and I just wasn't "comfortable". This would be tolerable on a cycle but not sustainable on TRT.

    I'm now on 100 a week split into 50mg every 3.5 days. I am around 750-800 the day before injection and have no sides to speak of. It is very level, blood pressure went down, and I feel great. I've lost that 10 lbs, but strength is up and I have more energy than I did on a higher dose. Now I just add weight by adjusting my diet- you know, old school. lol

    So, I think in TRT, it is a point of diminishing returns and all about finding that balance that works for you. What works for me may not be for every one. Some guys on here still take an AI on low doses, some go as low as 30mg, still some others are on a completely different protocol altogether. It's a journey, but worth it.

    Please pardon my naivety with the subject (investigating TRT but not new to bodybuilding/supplements/etc), but are you saying that at 100mg/wk on the split you mention, there are no sides and you don't have to run anything else? If I understand correctly, you could essentially run 100mg/wk on that split with nothing else indefinitely. The reason why I ask is because looking at the PH products and cycles many folks run there seems to be a ton of pre and post cycle work required to insure the labs are OK. Again, just curious and investigating as I approach 40yo. I've never run a PH or gear before but love the science behind it all. Lots of great info here at AM too - glad I found this community!
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    I plan to run this indefinitely because it is TRT and there isn't a PCT. TRT isn't a cycle, which would be in the 300+ per week range of test. The goal of TRT is to find what works for you without any, or minimal, sides. Some feel this still includes running an AI, but I consider it running a dose that keeps your test solid, you feeling great, and no need to take anything else.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kisaj View Post
    Some feel this still includes running an AI, but I consider it running a dose that keeps your test solid, you feeling great, and no need to take anything else.
    Well some docs/bio identity hormone pracs may include an AI (even at very min doses) because the extra test may raise or convert to est some I believe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulBlack

    Well some docs/bio identity hormone pracs may include an AI (even at very min doses) because the extra test may raise or convert to est some I believe.
    Depends on the individual, and I don't think many endo's prescribed one out of the gate. Only labs will tell, why prescribe an AI if the pt doesn't need one?

    My endo won't prescribe me one


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    And the anti aging clinics do it for one reason:

    $

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulBlack View Post
    Well some docs/bio identity hormone pracs may include an AI (even at very min doses) because the extra test may raise or convert to est some I believe.
    Yes, I know. The point is to avoid it it if you don't need it.

    What many of us that have been doing this for years know very well, is that the majority of doctors do not know what they are doing. They brush every patient with a broad stroke and are not up on current practices and do not care to treat individuals properly. That's why so many guys run around with 200mg doses and complain about having side issues. TRT does not have to have sides, but it takes time and patience to get to that point. With proper evaluations, care, and research, doctors could be getting it right a lot earlier than they are.

    ...and yeah, assume that anything an anti-aging clinic is recommending or providing has nothing to do with your health. It is all about the money.
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    Quote Originally Posted by napalm View Post

    In 13 months of trt, I've went from ~185 to 203 as of today. my dose started at 100/week and my levels were in the 400's. Went to 150/week and that put me at 1100 3 days after injection. This dose screwed up all my labs, so I went down to 125/week. Labs were still screwed up so now at 50 every 4 days and levels are at 750 now 3 days post injection and labs are getting better.

    I've lost no bodyweight at the lower dose because at this point, it's all about diet and training. Don't really agree 850 is the min threshold to make/keep gains.

    Sent from my iPhone using Am.com
    When you say 100/week do you mean 100mg of test per week? What kind? Or are you referring to 100mg of test no ester equivalent ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rostam

    When you say 100/week do you mean 100mg of test per week? What kind? Or are you referring to 100mg of test no ester equivalent ?
    100 mgs of test cyp/week

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    Quote Originally Posted by kisaj View Post
    is that the majority of doctors do not know what they are doing. They brush every patient with a broad stroke and are not up on current practices and do not care to treat individuals properly.
    Agreed. My PCP had no real idea about quite a bit of stuff that is circulating as pretty well known.
    And yeah, I don't think it is out of the question to see $300-$600 a month on some of those clinics.
    Even the gels, that are so overpriced, if you don't have some kind of good insurance, you are getting soaked for as little as it costs to produce.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIGUEL1J View Post
    Sorry I skimmed this post but 250iu of hcg as a kicker to boost test is pretty low, that dose is usually used to keep your boys pumping during a heavy cycle. Also to prevent the boys from shrinking.

    To use hcg as a test booster you need to does it 1000iu 3 times a week min. No more then 5000iu a week. Also use a ai because hcg will increase aromatization.
    I agree it is a very low dose but it will add to the test levels and get rid of my "hanging" or lack thereof issue.
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    [QUOTE=MIGUEL1J;3882269]Sorry I skimmed this post but 250iu of hcg as a kicker to boost test is pretty low, that dose is usually used to keep your boys pumping during a heavy cycle. Also to prevent the boys from shrinking.

    What you said.....except I am not cycling, I am permanently on TRT.
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    HCG ordered, go to use 500Iu twice per week.
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