Diagnosed with low testosterone - looking for training advice

No real changes in the last several years. As such my advice hasn’t changed much - work with your doctor to monitor your levels as well as getting a baseline for bone density

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My T was low in the range when I was training hard. Also didn’t have much sex drive. I didn’t train for 8 months last year (run ran and rowed a little bit) and my sex drive came back like I was 20 years younger.

I’m convinced that most low T in endurance athletes is self induced. When one googles, the easiest T boosting things one can do, they seem to be:

Resistance training
Eat plenty of protein and adequate calories (don’t chase watt/kg)
Get plenty of sleep
Keep vitamin D levels up
Avoid alcohol

All good things for an athlete trying to optimize performance. I’d add to that, take days off, take the rest/easy weeks, take the off season break, and mid-season break. Many of us probably do too much constantly and are never fresh, fully rested, and we are chronically tired.


[quote=“AJS914, post:65, topic:13621, full:true”

Resistance training
Eat plenty of protein and adequate calories (don’t chase watt/kg)
Get plenty of sleep
Keep vitamin D levels up
Avoid alcohol

Excellent advice! I’m 55 and try to practice all the above although I’ll have an occasional social drink maybe once or twice per month. My libido is still good and I still feel strong on the bike.

Taking meds for low t is hard as everyone says your cheating even with usac approval when you just want to be normal.

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I’m sure I train far less than many here but even still I need breaks during the year for a mental recovery as much as physical.

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How’s it hard? If you have a TUE then it’s between you, your doctor, and the USAC.

I think the gray area is the A-type masters rider who has no low-T symptoms other than a number. (Usually a number is not treated if there are no clinical symptoms.) Mr. A-type though wants to train 20 hours a week, carry a high TSS, and have it all at 50 years old. His low T number is a symptom of his lifestyle not a medical problem but, of course, he wants to treat it so he can live this type of life.


How many people in cycling would not ride with you if they found out?

Or call you a cheater all the time.

I guess it would just depend on whether you were dominating the local masters racing scene or not.

I doubt people just wouldn’t want to ride with you. In any case, why do other riders need to know what medication your doctor has prescribed? It’s really a non-issue.

They don’t need to know. People talking about it on a ride and how they view those people on trt as cheaters would bother me if I was on trt. Maybe I’m influenced too much by others or need tougher skin

Since when does USAC give TUE’s for testosterone? I tried in 2015-2016 and was told no way ever…even with hypothyroidism which is a base cause of low T.

It’s certainly easy to game the system for a t prescription so I’d prefer they only rarely hand them out. Not sure what the reality is on the ground.


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I would love to see the data on the TRT and TUE.

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Sorry for the crap link. Does this mean you can be on TRT but you can’t go to big events?

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It sounds like one can use that if they never win anything.

Further, RCTUEs are not granted to elite or competitive athletes. In fact,
RCTUEs serve as formal recognition that the individual granted the RCTUE is
not competitive in any athletic sense and that therefore their use of a prohibited
substance, in a therapeutic dose, taken under the appropriately prescribed
care of a licensed physician, will not affect the competitive balance in any

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They want to make it clear, your not someone at the pointy end of the race if your granted the RCTUE. In my area not many masters races have 50 people, so you really could do a RCTUE and prob be fine.

A “Recreational Competitor” is defined as a non-national athlete who within the last 25 years (1) has not been in the USADA Registered Testing Pool or the Registered Testing Pool of an International Federation; (2) has not represented the United States in an International Event; (3) has not won a national or regional level Competition in any sport; (4) has not finished first, second or
third in an age group category of any Event sanctioned by an NGB in which fifty (50) or more competitors have been entered in that category in the sport in which they are presently competing; (5) has not won more than five hundred dollars (500.00 USD) in prize money in an Event in the sport in which they are presently competing; and (6) is not classified as a professional Athlete

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Sounds like you have to have more then just Hypothyroidism, you need a doctor who knows his shit and willing to write around this clause. So an anti aging facility wont work which prob give out most of the TRT

Further, the RCTUE process is not a testosterone-specific process and does not allow athletes to freely use anabolic steroids in sport. Rather, RCTUEs can be applied for, and may be approved or denied for any prohibited substance or method used under the care of a physician, subject to continued strict evaluation criteria. RCTUEs will not be granted for testosterone treatment for androgen deficiency/hypogonadism due to generalized symptoms, functional causes, or for anti-aging, lifestyle or regenerative health purposes.


Could you give us an update?. I’m afraid I have classic symptoms of LowT, mainly:

  • Sleep Issues
  • Lower Bone Density
  • Mood and irritability

I’m getting a test in 5 days. Kinda sucks because I have optimized everything else. Like you, it could be my training load, but if I can’t train I’m going to be fairly unhappy.

On the advice of my doctor we’ve dialed back to annual monitoring. I continue to have low to zero physical and emotional impacts so we’re essentially looking for changes in my values or my quality of life

My general advice hasn’t changed much, work with a doctor who understands your life and training and can give you sound medical advice based on that. Make your case interesting to them, something they will think about beyond the normal office visit

As for the actual testing. The surest way to tie it to training volume, AFAIK, is to get several baseline values and then take an honest to god break. Multiple weeks long, then retest. In my case my numbers rebound consistently when I stop for 3-4 weeks, but varying volume and methodology throughout the year has very low impact

As far as training goes, the largest structural change I’ve made is adding a mid season break. I never used to do this but added it in during my trial and error post this diagnosis. While it doesn’t improve my blood numbers I do enjoy the mental rest


If you take a recovery week or even a few days completely off and then mood and sex drive improves then you know it’s training related.

When I was training 12+ hours a week, I tested with low T but still in the normal range.

I get grumpy and feel like I’m coming on with the flu if I do VO2max intervals.

Is it clinical if it’s all self inflicted?

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