I previously wrote about my experience of what happens after 6 months of TRT. It’s now been a year since I started my journey and I wanted to write the follow-up. I hope this will answer many questions for men concerned about starting TRT. In my experience, the biggest factor preventing men from going on TRT is fear of the unknown. This is despite the fact that today countless men desperately need it. The aim of this article to provide an honest reflection from a person who’s done it. Not some pseudonym on a bro-board. I’ve been where you are: at the bottom of a pit. And I decided I didn’t want to stay there. If this article encourages you to take control of your life, then I will consider it a success.
One Year On
I started TRT over a year ago at the age of 29. And I’ve come a long way since then. Prior to therapy I had prepared myself as best as possible and devoured every available resource. I was faced with a big life decision. My prescription was filled and I was ready to change my life. But even at this late stage in the game I had doubts. Did I really need TRT? I was sat at my kitchen table trying to draw testosterone into a syringe. There were broken vials on the table and discarded syringes from previous failed attempts. At one point I looked at the carnage in front of me and said to myself: ‘What the fuck am I doing?’ But my lab results were conclusive. I knew the symptoms of anxiety, depression and low libido weren’t going to subside unless I did something. I bought the ticket and now it was time to take the ride. Finally, once I summoned the courage to inject myself and begin treatment is when my life began to change. That first injection was symbolic. It represented my first step into the great unknown. I wondered how my life would be in a year’s time. Clearly, I’d be guilty of extreme cognitive bias if I attributed every positive change in my life to TRT. Nevertheless, to say it’s had a huge impact on my life would be an understatement.
Once I began TRT, I couldn’t wait to get my life back again. After my research and conversations with other men on TRT, I had great expectations. I looked forward to improved mood, libido and energy among other things. However, something I didn’t really anticipate was the profound effect it would have on my character. We often think of our character as something set in stone. However, hormones have a dramatic effect on the way we think and feel. Now that my testosterone levels are optimized, I feel much more in tune with my own masculinity. This makes sense, as testosterone is the life blood of every man. I am upfront with my intentions and say what I think, even if it costs me. I am more much of a go-getter than I ever was. Despite what you may have been fed by the media or your college professor – true masculinity is a force for good. Masculinity means living with integrity, seeing your commitments through and taking responsibility for your actions. What could be wrong with that? How often do you meet men with firm values, who keep their word? Or someone who takes responsibility for their own actions? These days people’s values change with the wind and being a victim is all the rage. It’s always someone else’s fault. It’s no coincidence that we have a society of victims and an epidemic of low testosterone. A man with optimized hormones does NOT adopt a victim mindset. Because testosterone drives you to take action and take charge of your life.
What Physique Changes Can You Expect After 1 Year Of TRT?
The ONLY reason to ever go on TRT is to optimize your hormones and improve your quality of life. Nevertheless, with the right mindset, TRT gives you the opportunity to create an incredible physique. Over the course of a year I’ve put on 10 lbs of lean muscle. My muscle fibres are denser and I’m much stronger than before. I can train more intensely for longer and I rarely have a bad session in the gym. In order to put on this amount of muscle on TRT you have to eat more calories than your maintenance level. There is no way around it. Therefore, you must prepare your meals in advance. On any given day, I don’t leave the house without meals in a cool box. When trying to gain muscle on TRT it comes down to picking your battles. You have to learn when to put your foot on the gas and when to ease off.
You cannot eat massive quantities of food indefinitely. Firstly, your metabolism will up-regulate and the surplus calories won’t have the same effect. Secondly, you will become fatigued both mentally and physically. You will feel bloated and wary from eating the same foods day in day out. Subsequently, you have to be very clear on your commitment to gain lean mass. In hindsight, I may have even been able to put on more muscle. However, I decided to adopt a long-term mindset. I’m in this for life and there’s no rush. Jay Campbell has always taught me to be patient. Slow and steady wins the race. By the time Steve Reeves was 19 he had a phenomenal physique. Likely it will take me decades to look anywhere near that. But that’s ok with me, because I’ve come to love the process of bodybuilding. I cannot emphasize enough for those who are still confused. TRT and anabolic steroids are not the same thing. TRT is a prescription medicine administered by a qualified physician in clinical doses. We are not stacking drugs in supra physiologic doses or any such nonsense. So you cannot eat like shit all week and hope testosterone is going to save you! As the saying goes, ‘You cannot out train a bad diet.’ It’s important to recognize Testosterone is the ultimate anabolic hormone and if you lift weights and eat clean good things will happen to your body.
Do You Come Off TRT?
Guys ask this question a lot, ‘Do you eventually go off TRT?’ When I answer and tell them it’s for life, a look of horror comes across their face. Here’s the thing, your body was producing low levels of testosterone before you began therapy. And low T is a life of anxiety, depression, no energy and low libido. A pitiful existence. So why would you want to go back to that? Going on TRT for a year doesn’t mean your body will then start producing optimal levels of testosterone. It just doesn’t work like that.
Where To Start?
Another question men ask is along the lines of ‘My doctor is clueless, please help.’ To be clear, I love helping other men and this is why I’ve written about my experience. But when I quiz these guys on their research and the books they’ve read, I draw a blank. I don’t know if it’s because people are lazy. My first instinct was to educate myself before I even considered a doctor. Understand virtually every doctor you encounter doesn’t have the first clue about TRT. Consequently, it is critical to know the subject inside out. Your first TRT considerations are symptoms. Then once you’ve identified the symptoms, you must validate them with lab tests. Treat this like a trial case. Gather as much evidence as possible and present it to your doctor. If they refuse to treat you in the face of overwhelming evidence then you must find another.
You do not have to accept the verdict of an incompetent doctor.
‘But there are no good doctors where I live!’ So what? If you really care then you’ll travel the length of the country if necessary. I travelled almost 4 hours for my TRT consultation and now I’m set for life. That’s an incredible return on investment in my book.
Some days I feel like Bradley Cooper from limitless: anything is possible. And sometimes I just want to go hide under a rock and never come out. Testosterone has benefited me in so many ways. Yet it’s also highlighted to me that I’m a flawed human being. – I have my own doubts, fears and insecurities just like everyone else. Previously, my fear of the unknown held me back from doing what I wanted in life. After a year on TRT, I am a much more confident, focused and driven individual. I am clear on my goals and work toward achieving them. At times I may not accomplish what I set out to do, but I always give it my best. The clarity of thinking on TRT means you are intolerant to other people’s bullshit. The flip side is you’re also intolerant of it in yourself. Therefore, your mind can’t always fool you with lame excuses like it used to.
I recently turned 30 and I can honestly say I feel better than I did 10 years ago. My body is older but now I have the hormone profile of a 20 year old with 10 years more experience. I know men who’ve had their testosterone checked and its low and they’re symptomatic. Yet they live in denial. They want to lose belly fat and develop a nice physique. So they try all sorts of fad diets, endless amounts of cardio and change training routines every week. Many even buy Testosterone booster supplements hoping it’s the magic bullet they’ve been looking for. Sadly it’s all in vein. Because hormonal balance is the foundation of your health as a man. The truth is these men are scared. They’re scared of using a prescription medicine for life. Scared of potential side-effects. And scared that it won’t work out. I’m here to tell you these fears have no basis in reality and my experience has been anything but positive. Nevertheless, I will keep saying it until I’m blue in the face, as the message needs to be heard. Testosterone is the FOUNDATION of your health as a man. You must overcome any limiting beliefs you have around the subject. You can choose to lead a life of quiet desperation with low testosterone. Or you can choose to embrace the benefits of testosterone replacement therapy, and lead an incredible life.