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Reefboy1980 04-07-2013 04:34 AM

Low Testosterone?
I have never really questioned this before. I've always found building muscle more difficult than others. During my early teens when I started training I never really seen those newbie gains. After the first year I was ripped as hell but then I had hardly no muscle. Granted my diet was poor back then

I then started reading about nutrition & so In my early twenties I did start to see results, my bodyweight went up loads & in clothes I looked good but I did put on a lot of BF during this time

I stopped training at the age of 24 other commitments took priority. I broke my leg about 18 months back in 2 places & it's been a long road back. I took some photos at the back end of last summer & I was about to upload them onto FB when I was horrified with what I'd seen. I had become skinny fat & looked like S##t. I immediately joined the gym & started training currently doing the SL5x5 programme. I started right at the beginning with just the Olympic bar, the first 2 months I seen an improvement but not as good as I thought so I decided to strip all the fat back & start again. I've dropped 22lbs since xmas & have now started to bulk this week

My strengths are o.k for my size, people comment on them but the mass never comes.

Now for the reason i'm questioning if I have low testosterone. My parents have always taken illegal substances & even before I was born. I have extremely skinny legs even though I did a lot of sports & always trained legs. My dad does too, my dad also trained but he was on the juice. Never been able to achieve mass. Sex drive is fine which is probably the reason I have never questioned it before nut I did read that this would be the last thing to disappear anyway

Should I get tested? If so how do I go about doing it do I just go & the see the docs?

I'm now 33, only been back training for 5 months. My diet is fine I know no what I need to cut - maintain & bulk. I'm going on a bulk & I'm aiming for macros of 30-40-30 P-C-F

Any help would be much appreciated

Not sure if this is in the correct section so feel free to move it

fenrisulfr 04-07-2013 05:49 AM

Just go talk to your Dr.

leefarley 04-07-2013 07:52 AM

you say you only been back training for 5 months, not really long enough time to put on a substantial amount of muscle, plus if you have been laid up for 18 months your leg would of lost allot of muscle.

Hunterace 04-07-2013 08:45 AM

As Fen said go to your Doc. It's a simple blood test to check and then you'll know for sure if you have low T, or your just not eating enough or need to be more patient.

Bill 04-07-2013 09:52 AM

Sounds similar to me.

I trained a lot in my tons, probably 4-5 days a week, always had tons of food:milk, pasta, meat etc, but I never had much in the way of mass gains. At 30, I thought "what if my t is low"...went to doc and had the levels of a 90 year old. Chances are I have had this issue for a long time.

Find a reputable doc. The normal t level range is 250-800, but it isn't adjusted for age. You might test at 275 and doc will send you on your way, even though 275 is appfopriate for a 70 year old

big_swede 04-07-2013 10:17 AM

Are you getting stronger and progressing in that department? If so its not low T. Gaining mass can be very much harder for some people than for others and its genetic, just like the skinny legs thing. My advice is to experiment with your diet (eat alot more than the online macro calculator prescribes! ;)

Also reps in the 8-12 range may help alot.

Good luck.

Off Road 04-07-2013 11:01 AM

Building natural muscle mass is not easy, for most of us it takes years of doing things correctly to make good progress. Drugs (legal, illegal, or 'natural') will of course shorten that time line, but that's a decision you'll have to make for yourself. But let's be real for a moment, the new HRT trend has just become a quick-fix for guys looking for that shortcut. The fact that so many supposedly 'natural' guys are on HRT or pro-hormones has set an unnatural standard in the muscle building industry. But I'll hop off my soap box because it really is YOUR decision.

By constantly losing and gaining weight, or trying to stay lean year-round, I'm sure you've sabotaged your own natural potential for muscle growth. I don't buy the 'low test level' argument, after all I see girls with crap test levels that are able to gain muscle mass. I'd invite you to spend the next few years doing things correctly, the way it's explained here by BtB and the other contributors, then see if you don't start gaining and feeling better. 5 months of training, and three of those on a big weight loss regime is not something to judge your potential on.

I know I won't make friends with that, but I wanted to at least share my views. I feel better now, carry on. . .

BendtheBar 04-07-2013 11:18 AM

I have very low test. Had it checked twice. My body holds a lot of muscle mass, and I've built a lot of strength despite my test levels.

If you are not building muscle something is wrong and it's probably not your test levels.

There is certainly nothing wrong with improving your health and seeing a doctor. I know how horrible low test can feel some days. With that said, if you can't build muscle now it won't help.

We'd be glad to take a detailed look at your situation/history and give you some quality lifting and nutrition advice.

Tannhauser 04-07-2013 11:27 AM

I saw another thread in which you quoted your chest measurement at ages 17-23 as 29". That suggests to me that either you were eating 300 cals a day :) or your natural build is very light.

But even if you're naturally skinny, you can still achieve great results. I agree with Off-Road's middle paragraph above. My feeling is that one thing that may not work for you is trying to lose fat and build muscle simultaneously. You're probably going to have to throw yourself into one or the other.

There's no way of determining your T levels without getting it tested (second-guessing using sex drive, beard growth etc won't get you anywhere), and I can't see any harm in finding out. If you do so, please let us know how it went.

Reefboy1980 04-07-2013 12:24 PM

I've never cut before, this is the first time I've ever done it & tbh I felt quite proud of loosing that fat although I need to gain mass now. I've never contemplated taking steriods as I grew up with my dad being on them & it wasn't a pretty sight.
I am a natural very skinny person, small wrists & ankles so I know I'm not going to be huge & I guess from when I first started at the gym to my build now its unrecognisable.
I think next time I'm at the docs ill ask them to check it.
I have made myself a plan of what I'd like to have gained by the end of the year & what I'm aiming for in terms of strength so I guess time will tell.
I feel that I know what I'm doing now, I feel I have a good programme & I'm more knowledgable about my nutrition & how much I need to bulk

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