Passing the Test, Part 2

TAGS: health, strength, strength training, Elitefts Info Pages, barbell, training

January 30, 2008

For those of you who haven’t read part 1, I’m 51-years-old and recently tested very low in almost every indicator for testosterone levels. This series is about my journey to and through supplementation.

I’ve now been supplemented for four weeks (since January 2). My daily dose is four pumps of 1.25 grams each of Androgel. The gel goes on easily enough, and you get used to the smell of the alcohol carrier. It smells much better than DMSO, which is a good thing.

I’ve been feeling pretty good. It’s hard to tell how it’s going training wise because lots of stuff has been going on including moving my mother-in-law and other time consuming activities of the like. When I do train, I have a feeling of “fullness,” and I have more confidence. Again, it’s not like I go to bench, the clouds part, and a divine sunbeam hits me. It’s like the opposite of those days when you feel totally drained and it seems that only connective tissue is firing.

In the gym now, regardless of distractions and lack of sleep, I feel like more of me is lifting, and I have a better handle on what I’m capable of doing that day. I feel as if every body part is cooperating better. I’m not moving heroic amounts of weight, but I’m confidently pushing past my old perceived limits (our impression of what we’re truly capable of, which may or may not be accurate). Our minds are capable of holding us back as well as causing us to overachieve. I know I don’t always pay attention to the strength of my mind. This supplementation process seems to be working the mental as well as the physical for me. I seem to have an improved, stronger focus at work and at home that lasts longer. My body weight is up to 265 lbs. I’m still wearing size 38 pants.

I had my first progress blood draw on January 22. I received the results yesterday. I’m not certain what other people’s results look like or how they’re affected by supplementation, but it appears that Androgel has worked in my system like high octane starter fluid for the boys. My total testosterone level at 2532 ng/dl is over double what is considered the normal upper limit of 1100. My free testosterone at 645.7 pg/ml is over four times the normal upper limit of 155. I’m not quite certain what to think about this news. On one hand, I’m quietly grinning from ear to ear and trying to think up new names for the guys. Not certain where to go on this one. I need to be creative. Godzilla, Thor, and Wolverine have been taken.

On the other hand, I’m curious as to how these levels will manifest over time. Will I have extraordinary strength gains and better recovery from training? Will I be hit with male pattern baldness and get back hair that requires a weed whacker for grooming? Will the new boost in chemical manliness reverse my vasectomy? (Hey, it could happen.) What will it take to be within legal limits for tested federations? Do I give a crap and just train and hit the occasional APF meet? No big decisions yet. It’s still real early in the process. I’m looking forward to hearing from the doctor on this.

January 31, 2008

I heard from the doctor’s office today. They said that I’m doing “really well” on the Androgel. Duh. The funny thing was the way that the nurse told me. She sounded like she was really proud of my achievement. Or, maybe her tone wasn’t about me. “Steve, we’re sorry that your inability to produce your own testosterone almost sucked your life dry, but isn’t it great how our magic potion #9 has given you a synthetic sense of pride and accomplishment?” I’m probably over thinking this. I should just enjoy the ride. Best to keep it simple and stick with that line from Frankenstein—“It’s alive!” At 51-years-old, that’s a good thing.

But I digress… The doctor wants me to back off to one pump (1.25 grams) a day and get more blood work in a couple of weeks. This dosage balancing act is going to be a work in progress for a few months as my body more fully acclimates to the supplementation.

Most of the extracurricular distractions should be over this week so training should start being more regular starting next Monday. I should have a better feeling for how the supplementation is helping in the gym.

Saturday night is going to be fun. I’m taking Lisa to see the Blue Man Group. We’ve talked about it when we’ve been in Vegas but never got around to going. They’re coming to Salt Lake so we have to go. I know this has nothing to do with the topic of this article, but I’m jacked about going to this show. I’ve heard good things from people who have seen them.

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