No gains on 400mg/week of test
- 07-10-2011, 10:52 PM
No gains on 400mg/week of test
This is my first post. I'm hoping you guys have some ideas on why I am seeing no gains on 400 mg of Test a week.
Here is some background info - please read the whole post before replying that I should be posting in the TRT forum: I went on TRT 15 months ago after I finally realized that the problems I was having were due to low T ie <300 ng/dl. The low T was due to losing a nut to testicular cancer 3 years ago. I take 140 mg of Test a week in 2 doses. I also take .25 mg of anastrozole 3 times a week. This dose keeps my T around 1200 ng/dl and E2 in the low 20s. Since starting TRT I gained 16 lbs of muscle and lost 10 lbs of fat. All of this progress occured in the first 9 months. Since then, my gains have stalled. I'm 43 now. 210lbs and 13% body fat. I've been lifting off an on since I was a teenager.
Now for the cycle part....
My dr wrote the script so that I have more Test then I need...a lot more. My plan was to save up the extra Test and 'blast and cruise'. The cruise is my maintenance dose of 140 mg/week. The blast would be 400 mg/week. The blast and the cruise would each be 12 weeks.
I started 200mg twice a week about 6 weeks ago. I was taking .33 mg anastrozole every day, but a blood test showed my E2 was at 40 pg/ml, so 5 weeks into the cycle I increased it to .5mg every day. The blood test showed my 'Testosterone, Serum' at >1500 ng/dl and 'Free Testosterone(Direct)' at >55 pg/nl. (Labcorp doesnt measure anything higher that these). The only other item that was out of the normal range was my 'AST (SGOT)' which was 79 IU/L, so my liver is getting stressed. SHBG was not measured in the panel I did.
I usually eat about 200-225 g of protein a day and I increased that to about 250-275 g/day since I started taking the extra T. I have not changed my workout schedule much since I started the extra T, but the weights have gone up some. I lift every other day using a legs / shoulders+chest+traps / back+lats split. Each workout is about 70 minutes and go all out - no loafing here.
I know 400 mg/week is a pretty weak cycle. I was not expecting huge gains - but I was expecting something! I have not gained any muscle according to my scale/body fat monitor. Also, I have not noticed an increase in sex drive, but the acne (back/shoulders) has gotten considerable worse.
Any ideas on why I am not making any gains would be greatly appreciated.
- 07-11-2011, 06:05 AM
Not sure I have an answer, but have a few comments... Losing one nut will not lower your test levels. Your body produces testosterone based on the amount in your system. One nut is more than sufficient to produce tons of testosterone. If your doctor concluded that, get a new doctor. Your levels are actually not that low for a guy your age (pre TRT). But, you're getting a lot of test from this doctor, so your source of supply is good and may be worth staying with him just for that reason.
Really, you should not need any AI for just 400mgs a week. It stands to reason that if you raise your test levels, your E2 will rise. That's actually ok because you need a balance and according to some sources, you need E2 to complement test and produce gains. I have not seen any credible ratios yet, but a few years ago I showed test levels of 5000 with E2 at around 250. I had no sides and made good gains. I did not take any AI. I cite that as an example, not as an excuse to ignore E2 levels. I personally believe that you should let your E2 rise until you notice sides, then start controlling it. You may be over reacting to what you feel is high E2 and suppressing it to your detriment.
I know many will disagree, but if you're doing 70 minutes of pure lifting, you are doing more cardio and should expect a cutting cycle not one designed for gains. I am spent after 20-30 minutes in the gym. I believe in heavy weights, low reps high volume. When I hit 5 reps, I can't get a 6th rep out. I end with lower weights, more reps and try to end the day with both slow and fast twitch muscles totally exhausted, but if I did that for 70 minutes, I would compromise. Again, don't take this as a criticism of your routine, it may work great for you, but it doesn't seem to be giving you the gains you want.
If you can get over the E2 stigma, you may want to try increasing your dose to 500, although quite honestly, I doubt another 100mgs will do much.
- 07-11-2011, 08:51 AM
Thanks for the feedback DetroitHammer. I'll give your suggestion on the E2 a try. Most of my reading has been done on TRT forums and the general concensus there is to target the 20-30 range for E2. But of course the assumption is also that your T levels would be in the 700-1000 range. Your point about the T to E2 ratio means that I would need to let my E2 go much higher. The idea that the ratio is what is important and not the actual E2 level didnt dawn on me. I'll stop the AI for the rest of the cycle and see if it helps.
I'm pretty happy with the dr I have. He never really said that my T is low do to losing a nut...except maybe on the insurance forms. I have a feeling my T was always on the low side and losing one made it worse. Unfortunately I have no baseline measurement from before the cancer. I can say that TRT has made a bigger difference in my life then any other medical treatment I have ever done. Some of the things it fixed were backpain that I had every day, foggy thinking, depression, huge boost in energy levels, sex drive and of course the gains in the gym.
Regarding the 70 minute gym time - that includes 8 minutes on the elliptical to warm up. Then I do about 20 sets which consist of multiple compound lifts. I rest about 2-3 minutes between each set - less for some lifts and more for squats, etc. I do 8-12 reps since lower reps with heavier weight bother my joints. I am wiped out by the end but before I start each set, I make sure I am breathing normally again and my heart rate is back down. You mentioned that you do 20-30 minutes a day - how many days a week are you lifting?
07-11-2011, 03:10 PM
ok, this does not actually help the OP, but Detroithammer, your test level was 5000?!!!!!!! wtf?! that's like 5-6 normal guys worth of test lol.
07-11-2011, 03:31 PM
We live in a time where our planet suffers from two epidemics simultaneously - starvation and obesity.
Look at all these little kids taking care of the music biz, don't their business take good care of me.
I have the fire, I have the force, I have the power to make my evil take it's course.
07-11-2011, 05:18 PM
07-11-2011, 05:40 PM
07-11-2011, 10:05 PM
07-12-2011, 08:27 AM
07-12-2011, 11:45 AM
i hear u bro, estrogen is not the enemy, ive taken my e2 too low before so i know, it actually feels worse than high estrogen and low test. As fas as waiting for sides to appear though, most would say the water retention IS a side. Personally i can tell a difference in water retention between 12.5mcg of aromasin and raising it just 5mcg to 17.5 ED.
07-12-2011, 11:48 AM
07-12-2011, 09:45 PM
4000 calories? I'm definately low. I posted a typical days intake below - about 2800 cal. I have not been losing any weight so I assumed my calorie intake was not too far off. If I jack it up to 4000, what is the likely % muscle gain vs fat gain? Remember, I'm 43 and dont have the metabolism of a 20 yr old. I dont want to have to go in the attic and get my fat ass pants. Do you determine your optimal level by increasing the calories until you start to gain to much fat and then back off a little?
calories protein (g)
cereal 250 10
milk 1% (cup) 102 8
fishoil 25 0
protein powder 120 30
3 eggs 270 18
Frozen lunch 300 18
1/2 cup chicken breast 115 21
Post workout drink
Meal replacement drink 300 40
1/2 scoop whey protein 80 20
greek yogurt 200 15
nuts 100 5
varies 750 35
casin protein 120 30
milk 1% (cup) 100 8
Daily Total 2834 258
07-13-2011, 04:20 PM
07-13-2011, 07:29 PM
Thanks Swollen87. Here is what I will add:
More eggs every day.
I have to take it easy on the beef since the iron is bad for my high hematocrit levels (around 50), but I'll add a few servings a week.
A can of tuna with some brown rice each day. (the guys at work will be really happy when I stink up the office)
Black beans, natural pb on whole wheat and milk.
A bag of mixed veges. No much calories, but need this for general health.
I've got to do some research to find some easy to make meals. The problem is that I have a long work day - leave at 6:40am and home at 7:30pm. Then spend some time with the wife and kids....no time to make stuff for the next day.
07-13-2011, 07:55 PM
all together i spend less than $80 tops a week on food, and i get plenty of veggies, milk, eggs and meats.... to eat big you also gotta learn how to shop for deals
to get some extra cals in try this shake:
2 tablespoons natty peanut butter
1 whole banana
1 cup blueberries
2 cups 2% milk
5 whole strawberries
2 scoops whey protien
1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
that alone is a good amount of calories... add 4-5 whole food meals on top of that everyday... and your gunna be hitting 4-5000 cals easily
07-13-2011, 09:22 PM
15 chicken breast...I'm going to need a bigger pan...and a bigger blender for that shake
I make shakes with pretty much the same stuff in it, but I do the pb,banana and whey in one and the berries and whey in the other. I'll try it all in one shake and see how it tastes. I buy frozen berries since they stay good a long time and I never run out.
Thanks for the help.
07-13-2011, 09:56 PM
07-16-2011, 10:43 PM
[QUOTE=Onenut;2931549]Any ideas on why I am not making any gains would be greatly appreciated.[/QUOTE]
Most people on this board will not be able to answer your question because they respond very well to increased testosterone levels. If your experience is positive, then you can't help but believe everyone else would have the same response as you do. I respond very well to simple penicilin, but some people would have a slight allergic response to it and others would be so allergic it might kill them. I can take multiple bee stings with no problem, but my brother can go into anaphylactic shock and die from one sting.
For some reason, some males (including me) can take megadoses of androgens (I've gone as high as 2000mg per week) and they just don't respond with muscle size and strength.
I don't know why, but I call it androgen resistance. Some men produce plenty of insulin, but for whatever reason their bodies don't make proper use of it. Some men inject testosterone and for some reason their body just won't make proper use of it.
07-17-2011, 05:33 PM
OP i didnt read any of the thread. but some pointers:
i think 400mg is enough to gain muscle. it wont be drastic but in 12 weeks you can gain 5-10lbs of pure muscle. if your not gaining its your diet most likely. i eat 50eggs or 8 cans of tuna a day with additional 2 50g pro shakes..and im cutting. so go thru ur diet and ask ur self...do i take this much food? if the answer is no than started eating more. ur diet dosent and probably shouldnt look like mine if ur trying to gain weight, but its a good base example. also...you do know you can just eat 2x/day in mac donalds for like 12$, and thats good bulking food!!
07-17-2011, 06:20 PM
07-17-2011, 06:47 PM
50egg = 5 meals x 3whole + 7 whites, sometimes just 10 egg whites.
i never have gas and i dont **** i just sweat it out.
07-17-2011, 07:13 PM
I thought about the possiblity that my body just doesnt have the capabilty to make use of the extra testosterone for some reason. Before I give up, I want to be sure there is not something I can do to fix this. The suggestions from others above to let my E2 rise so my T/E2 ratio is balanced and to eat more are both good recommendations and I've started doing both.
Have you determined the dose that works best for you? I'm wonding if I'd be better off increasing my TRT dose to say 175-200mg/week (from 140mg) and not bothing with any 'blast' cycles.
07-18-2011, 11:20 AM
07-18-2011, 07:54 PM
GLHF - I was not expecting a lot but I thought that since its my first real cycle, I'd get some decent gains. Or maybe since I'm on TRT, that 'first cycle' thing doesnt apply to me? If I gained 5-10 lbs of muscle in the 12 weeks and kept it, I'd be very happy. Is that realistic? I have not see much info out there on light Test only cycles.
I'm looking to make the best use of the Test I have a script for. I dont have a supplier for anything else and I'm not going to start looking - I'll make due with what I'm getting legally. Its not that I have some moral issue or something - I just wont take any chance on getting busted and messing up the good life I have going. And I know myself - if I can get it, I'll go overboard. I'm getting 1000mg a month from the doc (5ml*200mg/ml) plus another 15ml's I have leftover from when I switched docs. If this light blast cruise cycle I'm doing now doesnt workout, I'll try upping my TRT dose and see if I make progress over time. Another option is to save it up and try doing 1 or 2 larger cycles a year of 600mg/wk.
07-21-2011, 05:39 AM
I agree with Dragonrider. Your body's response to AAS varies form individual to individual. I don't see much difference at all when I go from 500mgs per week to 1000mgs per week of test. I have to mix it up with something else, although I really like the way I feel at 500 per week.
I decided to add some anadrol to my diet this summer. I was on drol for four weeks, snapped that avatar yesterday and am switching over to another oral for two more weeks before going back down to my cruise dosage. Anadrol made me so hungry I could stop eating. And I ate crap too. If I'm at work and not prepared for the hunger pains I eat anything I can get my hands on. Bad habit, but that's the reality of it all. You may want to try something different.
07-22-2011, 04:25 PM
07-24-2011, 12:43 AM
Man I feel u, me and unrealM. When I use test I.never gain.much muscle I loae some BF, get water retention and it helps hold gains after orrals but I never gained much of test alone
07-24-2011, 08:44 PM
You didn't even mention diet. That's obviously your problem. You need like 10k cals a day to grow at that weight. I'm talking eating everything, not bull shiet protein shakes and weight gainers.
07-24-2011, 10:28 PM
07-24-2011, 11:32 PM
100mg a week is half of what a natty teen is producing just fyi. 200mg a week is a better choice with aromasin as needed.
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