I am a 41 yo male physician who has noticed a gradual degredation in physical strength, gain in weight, and overall lowering of feelings of wellness. I have MOST noticably noted a decline in my ability to recover from exercise in a manner which is similar to even just a few years ago. In my 20's, I could work out hard for 1 1/2 -2 hours a day 6 days a week, twice a week for each body part. I never took anything other than a multivitamin, and had a very good physique as well as physical ability.
Now as time passed, life got in the way and I noticed that my intiative to get to the gym dwindled then halted about 4 years ago. I hit 40 last fall, and realized I was NOT doing myself any favors, therefore, I returned to the gym with a more plausible goal in mind. I wanted to maximize a realistic schedule which would allow me to be in and out of the gym in an hour. My schedule, between work and my family, precludes any 'normal' gym time, so I am at the gym at 5am morning, since the only time I actually can schedule for myself, is when the rest of the world is sleeping. This has worked out very well, in that I have grown to very much enjoy the schedule and the exercise.
However, my old routine of twice a week per body part has not been achievable. I found that my recovery, even after several months of lifting, did not allow for a twice a week schedule. THIS was my first clue, that I wasn't as young as I used to be. So I switched to a once a week rotation for each body part, which allowed full recovery in between workouts of specific body parts. I THEN noticed that my strength was not building the way it used to, and although I was physically changing, putting on lean mass and loosing fat, I still was feeling relatively 'weak' even to the point that my trainer commented on the fact that I 'looked stronger than I seemed to be'. THIS was clue number two that I wasn't as young as I used to be. And finally, I injured my left elbow while lifting. It was quite minor, really nothing more than a brachiradialis strain along with lateral epicondylitis, however, despite splinting, massage, and NSAIDS, I couldn't shake it. I didn't work back with a bent elbow for over a month, and until the last two weeks, I wasn't able to do anything which required flexion of my left elbow during a workout. THIS was hint number 3.
I began wondering whether I could have the early effects of diminishing hormonal levels. While in medical school and residency, I always wondered why we didn't give 'steroids' to old people to keep their muscle mass more normalized. And now that I am stepping up to the door of 'age' I have been looking more and more into the thought of what I will be doing for both myself, and my family, including my parents as I watch the changes of aging occuring in us all.
So, I spent quite some time looking into information such as Cenegenics, Crisler, etc etc etc... too numerous to mention, trying to determine the efficacy of what they were touting as Anti Aging Medicine.
I have completed blood work, and per the blood work, I am the EPITOME of perfect health. I am flat middle on almost everything hormonal and LOW on all the bad that medicine typically fights on a daily basis. But I STILL am not feeling as thought I am 'normalized' for myself and my basal hormonal level. While there is nothing wrong with my sex drive or prowess, I do notice that certain aspects of sex have diminished somewhat. I note that I am undergoing a hairline race to the top of my head... currently I think it is pretty neck and neck, but the left side might pull ahead with a different haircut. And I have noticed that I have developed a spare tire EXTERNAL to my musculature. I have normal visceral fat content.
NOW... given that I am a physician, and have access to imaging that normally would not be available to the masses without great cost, I have completed CT scans of my body from Chest to Knees. Everything is perfect, except for the external padding, protecting my frame. I am 6'2" and weight 230 almost on the nose. Checking Body composition via Electronic Impedence, puts me at 24.9% body fat. By Bod Pod, 31%, and via DEXA at 38.7%. Just to let you know... DEXA scanning is the most accurate, however, should not be compared directly to the current thoughts about 'normal/abnormal' given the detail and degree of accuracy compared to the weakness of the technology used in the formation of those 'normal/abnormal' values.
Chol Tot 119
LFTs Middle of normal
PSA 0.53 (< 2.5)
IGF-1 188 (91-246)
IGFBP-3 3.5 (3.3-6.7)
DHEA 190 (45-345)
Test, tot 557 (250-1100)
Test, Free 94 (35-155)
DHT 44 (25-75)
Estradiol us 22 (<29)
Uring GH, 24H (P)
Having thought long and hard about how to begin addressing my 'possible/probable' decline in hormonal stability. I wish that I had forsight and checked baseline levels at age 25 and at 5 year intervals thereafter, however, that is too much hindsight and not enough knowledge at the time. So I am stuck trying to determine whether my hormonal levels are truly decreased... or whether I am just a wimp.
I have chosen to begin with Secretropin as a single agent. I will do monthly checks on IGF-1, IGFBP-3, DHEA, Test/fr/DHT, and GH(24h/u) and post my results here over the next few months. I will not be adding anything to the regimen for at least 2 months, regardless, and will only discontinue if there are untoward side effects, also which I will post here.
My goals are less to 'normalize or improve' my lab results and MORE towards improving my physical makeup.
Goal 1: REDUCE Bodyfat comp to between 15-20%
Goal 2: Maintain or increase lean body mass
Goal 3: Improve overall sense of well being and fitness
Goal 4: Improve recovery/healing times
Goal 5: Not lose all my hair in the process.
I will let you know...