Testosterone: To T or Not To T?

Look deep into this. That study has been debunked and medically monitored TRT does not increase your chances of prostate cancer.

I know P.Attia has some good info behind a paywall. I’m not in need of treatment, but the topic is interesting to me.

So, it’s been about a week since I completely stopped training, turkey cold. I’ve only done some yoga/pilates exercises at morning, to improve my posture (10-15 minutes of it), and occasional very light 20-30mins spin while working on improving my position on the bike (that’s a totally different issue I’m struggling with…) Taking into account I work from home and my usual daily routine includes nothing more than sitting all day long, I guess this is equal to a “complete rest” routine of a normal person working a normal job.

So far, I don’t see much overall improvement, especially with my sleep. Though normally I can go to sleep without much problems, after a few first hours in it, when the initial deep tiredness has already alleviated, I’m starting to wake up. Sometimes I quickly go to sleep again, sometimes I toss around in my bed for 10 minutes before I’m able to. Happened 5-7 times per night at first, now it’s more like 3-5 times - but still it prevents me from regaining energy and I wake up already tired. Low energy, close to zero libido, and I yawn regularly throughout the day.

It’s as @OreoCookie said before, having 8 hours of sleep seems to be so easy, but may be so hard (though not sure he meant exactly what I’m experiencing). In my case it sometimes can even be 9 hours even - still I don’t feel fully rested; and I can’t sleep more because my body “thinks” it’s enough. That frustrates me a lot.

I also started to measure my HRV after reading this and this articles. I hoped it will help to objectively assess my body’s exhaustion level. I installed Elite HRV app on my phone - and that thing has been showing me 7-9 readiness points (out of 10) for the last 4 days; literally tells me “go and train hard, you are in a perfect state for it!”

I really start to think to get back to spinning at least 1 hour in zone 1 a day, may be 2-3 hours on saturdays. At least back then when I did some spinning I was tired enough to have a deep night sleep. I was a happier person as well, as I spent a lot of time outside, having some new experiences, breathing fresh air.

What do you think?

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Speaking from personal experience, when I was deeply fatigued during my PhD (due to overwork), I spent two weeks of vacation doing nothing and felt as exhausted on the last day of my vacation. It just took longer to recover, and I set some personal boundaries then that have served me well. But if your fatigue is really deep, you might need much more time.

This is a huge struggle for me, and I can empathize. Some factors are external, some internal. When something weighs heavily on my mind, I have trouble sleeping sometimes. Sometimes when I pee at night (one way nature reminds me I have reached middle age), I have trouble getting back to sleep again.

Other times our kids wake me up. On Tuesday, our daughter pooped her pants and I had to take a shower at 4:30 am. Fortunately, it was 4:30 already, my alarm was set for 4:45 … Other times, I am not so lucky.

I don’t think there is any simple advice to give you, but two things have helped me: I really made an effort over several years to improve my sleep. And second, if I haven’t slept more than 7–7:30 hours, I don’t train. Since I love to train, this gives me motivation to fix my sleep.

I would take how you feel over the opinion of any app. If you feel exhausted and without energy, then that’s that.

Maybe I’m overstepping your boundaries, but does depression run in your family? Is work of family really stressing you out? You shouldn’t need a bike ride to allow you to sleep.

Personally, my time on the bike is part of my self care (self therapy in a sense), if I don’t do sports for a long period, I get cranky and restless. However, if sports is contributing to your lack of motivation and lack of energy, you might want to keep it easy. I don’t know if we here can help you with any of that, but don’t give up and be kind to yourself.

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No worries, that’s a perfectly normal question, taking into account the context of this discussion. I’m not aware of any depression cases in our family. Not with my parents or my close siblings, at least. I could guess my own secluded lifestyle can be enough to induce it, though (as shown by recent data on the subject gathered during covid lockdowns). It’s been 7 years since I started to work from home. I never liked going out for a walk, it always seemed pointless to me, slow and boring. So cycling happened to be the thing just for me - you move fast through the landscape, views constantly change, you have to maneuver actively sometimes etc. It’s fun, and it’s quite physical, so it makes you happy on hormonal level at the same time. Just perfect. Now when it’s gone, my life is bleak and depressing again.

In your case, you have your family who are always around - that’s a huge boost to one’s well-being. I can say that from experience - the days when I get on a social ride with my pals (or even with some random people) are one of the happiest days of my life. I feel myself MUCH better these days, and I usually sleep much better as well for day or two. Social interactions are invaluable source of mental health for human being. You only start to appreciate it truly after living like a hermit for years… So that could be another reason why feeling good is tied closely to cycling in my case - it became a form of socialization for me I can’t substitute with anything else atm.

I think I’ll try to add 1 hour of spinning here and there, cautiously. I just can’t really think of it as of “training.” Does a normal person train when they decide to have a 30 mins walk home from their work? Then why can’t I ride my bike 1 hour a day, at low level of intensity? :slight_smile:

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Has sleep apnea been ruled out?

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Never tested for it. Now thinking about it, I match the typical profile (already tired at morning, toss around a lot during sleep, yawning during a day etc) pretty well. Except from being obese. I’ve installed an app on my phone, will try to record what sounds I make while sleeping, may be it will provide some hints.

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The worst snorer I’ve ever met in my life 6’3 and maybe 160 lb. Being overweight isn’t a pre-requisite.

A trans friend of mine is on T and told me they now snore as a result

You sound a bit like my brother. My brother was a loner for much of his life. He does have friends, but he’s perfectly happy spending time at home by himself, gaming and watching movies. But despite that, the seclusion during Covid eventually got to him, and he started yearning for human connection.

Cycling is not a “good” sport in this respect: you can do it by yourself and arguably, structured training is something most people do on their own.

The insight that you feel much happier on the bike with others around you is something that can be a starting point for your next steps. I really did not expect how much I’d enjoy being part of a cycling team. I made friends, have riding buddies and have the option to go cycling with others. Perhaps that might be an option for you, too? Depending on where you live, there might be cycling clubs or associations that focus on other types of cycling. In the alps there are a lot of mountain biking associations where you just do tours together. I. e. there is less of a focus on performance and it centers more around sharing the experience of being on two wheels.

I would start to work on this. After a bad breakup I crawled a bit into a shell and focussed on work … for too long. It really took an effort, and I felt awkward at first. But you get better at it with time.

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This is interesting reading.

Peoples opinions are all over the spectrum.

It seems some are based on zero experience or understanding of the dramatic advantage testosterone use gives an athlete.

Do whatever you want, race in your insignificant amateur event. Hell, nobody is going to test you anyway.

BUT, let’s be very clear. Unless, everyone in that race is using, you have a huge advantage. Many times more than folks who haven’t used steroids’ understand.

It’s this lack of experience that makes the opinions amusing to me.

It’s not a little percentage tick up. It’s a different human.

If anyone’s interested, I’m happy to explain.

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That’s good. That’s the point. I race against guys 20 years younger with 10+ ml/kg/min, those are different humans, that’s ok as well.

PS - I’m not on T

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If it makes you feel so good, won’t it be ******g hard to come off it?
I’d love something that would make me feel better but if I was prescribed it(for medical reasons) I would be dreading the day I had to stop taking it.

You’ll be taking it for life if you start it. That means going to a doctor regularly to make sure your blood profiles are correct…If not, you may die sooner. If you have prostate cancer, it can also speed up the progression of the disease.

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This is a rather complex issue.

Just my opinion.

If you are going to compete in “hypothetical” clean amateur races. Then ‘hypothetically’ you cannot use testosterone. However, many do, as there’s next to zero drug testing. Really, it’s kinda irrelevant as there’s normally always stronger riders. Usually, just because they are younger / better etc.

So, in the scheme of things, it’s just an older racer, who happens to have the ‘ability’ of a younger racer. In a mass start event. I guess it’s irrelevant.

For age category racing, it is absolutely cheating, unless of course a user just informed everyone they were racing that they were actually a young person :joy:

Not likely.

The interesting aspect is the sheer volume of cyclists that cheat, when the barrier is low and the penalty is minor.

Zwift has taught us this. I once thought it was a small percentage of humans that would cheat to win. How amusing, in retrospect.

In online racing the percentage of cheaters is crazy. If that was the percentage across all humans on Earth, we’d be more doomed than we already are.

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How correct you are! The whole age category thing was created because they knew 50 year old males who were not doping would have less testosterone than 20 or 30 year old males.

All of this is misinformation.

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