If you haven’t yet started thinking about Testosterone Replacement Therapy, you will soon. In the near future, I predict an explosion of young North American men developing an interest in the use of anabolic steroids, and I plan to be among them.
But wait: Won’t steroids kill you / turn you into an angry rape machine / shave years off your life / make your balls shrink / [insert whatever other horror stories you've heard] ?
To these questions, the answers range from “No” to “Only if you use them like an idiot.” The truth is that testosterone supplementation will have nothing but positive effects on a large number of men. For most others, artificial testosterone offers massive benefits with only minor risks. Even heavy and irresponsible use of anabolic steroids is probably safer than you think.
What are the benefits of higher testosterone levels? The list reads like a letter to Santa from every man, everywhere: More energy, more focus, more strength, more power, more dominance, better sex, more drive, less anxiety, better mood, more muscle, less fat. In short, you will shit diamonds and carve your name into them with the tip of your dick. Via Danger and Play, here’s Andrew Sullivan talking about his experience with testosterone injections:
“Within hours, and at most a day, I feel a deep surge of energy. It is less edgy than a double espresso, but just as powerful. My attention span shortens. In the two or three days after my shot, I find it harder to concentrate on writing and feel the need to exercise more. My wit is quicker, my mind faster, but my judgment is more impulsive. It is not unlike the kind of rush I get before talking in front of a large audience, or going on a first date, or getting on an airplane, but it suffuses me in a less abrupt and more consistent way. In a word, I feel braced. For what? It scarcely seems to matter.”
And here’s Victor Pride’s response to the question: How will you feel if you supplement with testosterone?
“In a word: great. In two words: fucking great.
You can expect better recovery from intense exercise and less soreness. You can expect enhanced muscle growth. You can expect erections like when you were a teenager. You can expect to feel like a fucking man. As simple as that.”
So that’s what you have to gain from TRT: Basically everything you could ever conceivably want. The entire self-improvement blogosphere – fitness, seduction, ‘getting motivated’ – could very easily be junked and replaced with a static page that reads: “Get on TRT, bitch!”
But what about the side effects!?!!?
Falling down and cracking your head is a potential side effect of showering. Nothing is perfectly safe. TRT is certainly not 100% safe – always, everywhere, for every man, at every dose. I am not a doctor, I am not a licensed professional anything, and I don’t even have any clean socks right now, so do not make any decisions purely on the basis of anything you read here. But in my amateur and anonymous opinion, TRT should be on the radar of every man with the means to procure it.
The rest of this post will break down the risk-reward profile of artificial testosterone supplementation for three separate classes of user: The Fixers, The Hackers, and The Abusers.
If you have low testosterone levels, you should book an appointment with your doctor to discuss Testosterone Replacement Therapy immediately. How do you know if you’re deficient? From Victor Pride:
How do you know if you might have low testosterone?
If you are alive today you almost certainly have low levels.
If you experience muscle loss or inability to gain muscle.
If you experience fat gain.
If you are fatigued or have sleep problems.
If you have gynecomastia (aka bitch tits).
If you experience hot flashes.
If you have night sweats.
If you have low sex drive and weak erections.
If you are irritable.
If you are depressed.
If you experience hair loss.
If you have memory problems.
If you have low testosterone, it’s not because you’re some freak or oddity. Something is causing testosterone levels in western men to plummet:
“The average levels of the male hormone dropped by 1 percent a year, Dr. Thomas Travison and colleagues from the New England Research Institutes in Watertown, Massachusetts, found. This means that, for example, a 65-year-old man in 2002 would have testosterone levels 15 percent lower than those of a 65-year-old in 1987. This also means that a greater proportion of men in 2002 would have had below-normal testosterone levels than in 1987.
“The entire population is shifting somewhat downward we think,” Travison told Reuters Health. “We’re counting on other studies to confirm this.”
What’s causing this? Obesity is a big culprit. Environmental factors like women’s birth control and plastics also share some blame. Crappy diets, pesticides, less time outside, less saturated fats. The list goes on. And there’s also my own pet theory: A subconscious, spiritual loss of life force among beaten down western men, resulting from the constant barrage of anti-male, anti-white, anti-strength sentiment that we’re all surrounded by on a daily basis. Whatever the cause, the result and the solution are the same. If you have low testosterone, you have a medical problem. Forget about ‘safety.’ Low testosterone will kill you:
“Studies published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the journal Diabetes Care, the journal Heart and other major medical journals show that low testosterone levels not only lead to obesity, loss of muscle, weak bones and depression, but also increase the odds of heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimers and other major health problems.
If you are deficient, do what needs to be done to get yourself back up to normal, immediately. TRT for you is all benefit, no cost.
What constitutes a ‘deficiency’? Technically, anything above 348 ng/dl is in the normal range. But as The Art Of Manliness puts it:
“Here’s the problem.
That reference range consists of a wide variety of men who tested with LabCorp: 80-year-old men and 20-year-old men; obese men and super fit men; men with pituitary gland problems and men with glands that work like champs.
Sure, my 383 ng/dl was considered normal, but normal compared to whom? An 80-year-old man with Type 2 diabetes?
The fact that reference ranges don’t break patients down by age or health status explains why a 30-year-old man can go to his doctor with the symptoms of low T, only to be told that his T levels are fine because they’re within the “normal” range. If you’re 30 (or even 50), but have the same testosterone level as an 8o-year-old, diabetic man, your doc may say you’re okay, but you’re still not going to feel good. Plain and simple.”
The average man between the age of 25-34 has 617 ng/dl. The average man under 25 has 697 ng/dl. So if you happen to have some silly cunt of a doctor who tells you that 340 is a perfectly fine level for a twenty-three year old man, do yourself a favour and find a new doctor.
“I’m going to try to raise my testosterone levels naturally first.”
Here’s a better idea. Cycle on TRT for a while, and get a taste of what a properly functioning young male body feels like. Then start chasing that feeling with weights, Vitamin D, fish oil, Brazil nuts and whatever else you’ve got in your arsenal.
I repeat, if your testosterone levels are below the high end of the normal range, there is basically no downside to responsible and medically supervised experimentation with testosterone replacement therapy. Follow the of advice of Victor Pride:
“Go to the Doctor. Go to 5 Doctors if you have to. Fix the problem. You do not have to rot with age. You do not have to grow fatter by the year. You do not have to grow weaker by the year. You do not have to be shackled by the testosterone reducing environment. That is a choice you make. You can take your destiny into your very own hands.
Growing old naturally is the worst choice you could make. At 25 years old, or 27 years old, or 30 years old, or 35 years old it is time to get tested, checked and fixed. 35+ years old gentlemen should not walk to the Doctor, they should run. If you have low hormone levels, and most readers certainly do, the only side effects of TRT are positive.
The Doctor will check your levels and prescribe what is needed to you. The testosterone given to TRT patients is either a gel that you rub into your skin or an intramuscular injection. And if you are going without it, friend, you are suffering. Get to the Doctor and at the very least get checked. You will probably be surprised at how low your levels are.”
Irresponsible use of anabolic steroids is dangerous. Steroid abuse can cause high cholesterol, hypertension, liver damage, baldness, testicular atrophy, and lots of other fun stuff. Most distressing of all, steroids can result in an enlarged clitoris, which the medical community refers to as Scalzi‘s Disease.
And yet, how many deaths have you heard attributed to steroid abuse? Given the media’s general distaste for the biochemical origins of all that is male and masculine, you would expect any such case to be page one. Consider also how many men in their early twenties are complete fucking idiots, who will do literally anything to be the best in their chosen vocation of bodybuilding, athletics, or just being the biggest dude in the club.
But… if jacked guys are not dropping like tachychardic flies in the parking lots of bodybuilding gyms and locker rooms on a daily basis, it must be because legitimate steroid abuse is not the most dangerous thing in the world. Yes, it’s terrible for your body. Maybe even as bad as eating a grain-filled USDA-approved diet, or getting blackout drunk three nights a week throughout college. But it’s not an instant death sentence.
The standard advice from the testosterone-tolerant community regarding mega doses of steroids is: Don’t be an idiot. Use steroids responsibly. It’s not worth risking your life to get that much bigger and stronger.
Personally, I’m not interested in taking the amounts of steroids that carry real and severe health risks. That path is not for me.
But fuck it man. It’s your body. Yes, huge doses might kill you. Lots of things might kill you. Many of them are worth it. Wingsuits, for example. If dying is the scariest thing in the world to you, curl up in bed and drink green tea all day. Do you want to risk your health for a shot at having the most impressive physique, the heaviest lifts, a chance at the show? I won’t stand in your way.
But I will say this to the kids: Do your best to stay as safe as you can, at the level of intensity you choose to compete. I’m not the guy to help you figure out how to do that, but I’ll pass you some links at the end of this post that will give you a good starting point for your research.
Now we reach the really interesting case: A man, let’s say he’s twenty-eight. He looks and feels great, and his testosterone levels are very near the top of the ‘normal’ range without any sort of artificial supplementation. He lifts heavy, eats clean, and his body is performing as well as it did when he was twenty-one. He supplements with Vitamin D, Zinc, Magnesium, fish oil, and ACV. His mind is clear. His body is strong.
And yet he wonders… what else might be available, in this mortal coil?
I think I have a pretty good idea of what the benefits to TRT would be. As happy as I am with my present condition, I would look and feel much better.
And the negative side effects? Of a very limited and mild TRT regimen? They would be virtually non-existent. I would be on an aggressive cycle right now, if it wasn’t for one concern: I’m a firm believer in the idea that there is no such thing as a biological free lunch. Your body is a finely-tuned machine, optimized over millions of years of evolution. If additional testosterone is an unmitigated ‘good’, your body would just produce it. There must be some biological cost to high testosterone, if our bodies limit production despite the obvious survival and reproductive benefits.
And in fact, it does appear that high testosterone levels reduce total life expectancy, slightly.
“… a group of scientists and historians from South Korea delved into historical and demographic records concerning a unique group of eunuchs from Korea’s Chosun Dynasty (1392-1910)…
Thus, it appears that castration and removal of the male hormones helped these eunuchs live longer lives than their intact brethren, even though both groups had similar social and political power, as well as similar home lives…
This is a compelling line of evidence linking to testosterone and other male hormones a lower life expectancy among men. Scientists do not completely understand why testosterone could have such an effect. There is evidence that testosterone interferes with the immune response, and it most certainly affects behavior.”
But: Would you rather live until 75 with the mind and body of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone? Or make it to 80 as an androgynous tube of cookie dough from your mid-thirties onward?
There’s no right answer. I think it’s entirely reasonable for a man to visit a retirement home and conclude, ‘fuck everything after sixty.’ Such a man could feel free to cruise and blast his way through middle age and beyond.
In my case though, I’m a man who want to have a late family, and I’m interested in seeing where this whole transhumanism thing goes. I would love to stand a good chance of seeing 80, 85, 90, and 100. Thus, my current plan is to tread lightly, and wait until my natural levels start to dip, before I start tinkering with my body’s sex hormones.
However, I’m an open-minded fella. I invite you to move me from my position. Comments are open, and I’ll be keeping an eye on this thread over at the Roosh V Forum. And to any readers still not convinced that hormone therapy is worth a look, I’ll leave you with this photo of the 67-year old Sylvester Stallone.
Whatever he, Mark Sisson, Mel Gibson, and Arnold Schwarzenegger are doing – I want to be doing. Fuck growing old gracefully. I am going to do whatever it takes to strike an optimal balance between prolonging my life and enhancing the quality thereof.
Links and Resources
As I said, I have never tried any hormone therapy. However, if you’re feeling geared up, ready to jump headfirst into the deep end, and just want to click on something RIGHT NOW, I trust Victor Pride’s recommendation that the
100% legal Superdrol derivative, Super-DMZ is the real deal. [Update: Sadly it's been pulled from Amazon. I refuse to replace that link with some random bullshit, so if you want to put some hair on your chest, read Fight Club and pop some Vitamin D.]
If you would prefer to do some research first (a character flaw, this womanly cowardice, from which your first dose of the good stuff will assuredly free you) I’ve compiled a few resources below:
William Lewellyn’s Anabolics
Danger and Play, The He Hormone
Washington Blog, Boost Your Testosterone
Victor Pride, Why Your Testosterone Levels Are Lower Than You Think
You So Would, The Testosterone Saga
Good-Looking Loser, Get Juiced category
Art Of Manliness, Normal Testosterone Levels (part of a great series)
An interview of sorts with an IFBB pro on the real deal behind the scenes
A thread at the Roosh V Forum in which knowledge is dropped, fearful crossfit weenies are excoriated, and curious rookies such as myself are suffered their ignorance.
Read Next: The Definitive Guide To Nutrition For Men