Will Testosterone Replacement Therapy Build Muscle?

Clock 12 mins
7th May 2021
By: Project Alpha Team

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Men with low testosterone can suffer a host of problems, which is why Testosterone Replacement Therapy, or TRT, is so attractive to them. Low T can make a man miserable because of all of the symptoms it can produce, which are different with each person, but the good news is that there are easy solutions to the problem. 

If you’re wondering if Testosterone Replacement Therapy can build muscle, the answer is “yes,” but before we get to how TRT does this, it’s good to learn a little about testosterone itself and what it does for the body.


What Is Testosterone?

Simply put, testosterone is a hormone that is produced in males – and to a smaller extent, in females – that significantly increases when a young man enters puberty, and it starts to decrease after the age of 30 or so. The hormone is produced mainly in the testicles (and in small amounts in a female’s ovaries), and it is responsible for his sex drive, the production of sperm, red blood cell production, bone and muscle mass, and even the way men store body fat.

Testosterone dips when a man gets older, so Testosterone Replacement Therapy was developed to give them back some of the testosterone they’ve lost. Essentially, low T can affect men in the following ways:

  • Anaemia
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Depression
  • Hot flashes
  • Impotence
  • Less body hair
  • Less energy
  • Low self-esteem
  • Moodiness
  • Poor concentration (brain fog)
  • Sleep apnoea or other sleep disorders
  • Thinning bones
  • Weight gain

Unfortunately, while low-T is a problem even for men who are healthy, there are other ways that men can lose testosterone besides aging. These include injury to the testicles, cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation, AIDS, cirrhosis of the liver, kidney disease, and even alcoholism.

Low T can even be a problem for women, especially women who have had their ovaries removed in a hysterectomy.

Occasionally, TRT is prescribed for women as well as men, but the effects of TRT on post-menopausal women is unclear and needs to be studied more. In men, however, TRT has been proven to produce numerous benefits, which we’ll get to soon.

The way testosterone works is simple. The hormone binds to proteins found in your body and brain, and these proteins are called androgen receptors. T

his process helps maintain numerous body functions, so when you lose testosterone and there’s not enough of it in the body, the androgen receptors essentially don’t know what to do with themselves and they simply remain silent.

This can cause everything from lack of energy to depression and even less strength in the bones and muscles.


How Do You Know You Have Low T?

Usually, the doctor will perform a blood test to determine your testosterone levels if you think low T is your problem, but this is actually where the matter gets a little more complex.

All males can have different levels of testosterone in their bodies, so if you want to know what the “normal” level is, it will depend on the male.

That being said, most doctors recommend a minimum of 300 nanograms per decilitre of testosterone (ng/dL) to be considered “normal.”

Some doctors, however, say the normal range is 300 to 1,200 ng/dL.

If you think you have low T, the doctor will test you to see what your testosterone level is, then combine that number with factors such as your thyroid function and your protein status, along with a few others.

These numbers, when considered together, will tell the doctor whether or not you have low T, at which point the two of you can decide together on the course of action you should take.

If you are under 300 ng/dL, the doctor may recommend a low T treatment, but in some cases, he or she may not recommend TRT unless the number is a little higher.

Again, your acceptable testosterone level will vary depending on a group of factors, so while some men’s doctors may recommend TRT when the number is 600 ng/dL, other men may have doctors that won’t recommend testosterone therapy until that number gets down to 300.

Under 300, however, usually means a testosterone therapy recommendation for all men whose number gets this low.


What Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy?

TRT is just as it’s described in the name – a replacement of the hormone testosterone so that your levels can go up and you can feel better and suffer with fewer symptoms.

Frequently, men get TRT in shot form, but they can also receive their treatment via a suction cup that fits on your gums, a gel, a patch, and sometimes even a deodorant.

Your doctor will recommend which one he or she thinks is best for your particular situation.

The main thing to remember is that if you hate shots, you don’t have to panic because there are other ways to get your testosterone treatment.

When you receive your TRT, it is similar to diabetics who receive insulin.

In their case, the body doesn’t make the necessary insulin to control sugar levels, so a “replacement” has to be found. The same with low T – you get a replacement of testosterone because you don’t have enough in your body.

Most men who receive this treatment are over the age of 50; however, more and more younger men are experiencing this problem as well, so it’s good to know there’s a simple solution to the problem.

Synthetic testosterone was first developed in 1935 and has been used on millions of men since then.

It is extremely effective as long as you have been properly diagnosed by a physician.

TRT is a prescription, after all, and one of the reasons there are so many methods of distributing it is because you’ll have to work with both your doctor and your insurance company to come up with the method that works best for you.

Don’t panic, though, because most of these companies cover a variety of treatments for low T, so you shouldn’t have any problems having your insurance plan pay for it.


Is Low T Dangerous?

Many men assume that the worst part of having low T is the lack of energy or sex drive, but in fact, low T can increase the odds of you getting certain other conditions.

These conditions include type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and many other conditions, some of which can be fatal.

Low T can also make it much harder for you to build muscle mass, but TRT can help you put back some of that muscle mass because it puts back the hormone responsible for strong muscles and bones back into your system.

When the body doesn’t produce enough testosterone on its own, it doesn’t just cause problems that affect your quality of life and your happiness; it also affects your health, which is why seeing a doctor as soon as possible is recommended as soon as you start recognizing some of the symptoms of low T.

When you consider that low T is a serious issue that can affect both your mental health and your physical health, you’ll begin to understand why it is so important to see your doctor as soon as you experience any low T related symptoms.

Think of it like this: low T is a debilitating endocrine dysfunction, not just something that affects your physical body or something that’s “in your head.”

It is a legitimate medical condition that has effective treatment methods available that work.

You should never be hesitant to visit your doctor if you’re suffering with any of the symptoms mentioned above, because the sooner you address the problem, the sooner you can be rid of it and go back to living the life you were supposed to live.

At this point, you might be asking yourself, does this mean I have to take TRT for the rest of my life? The answer to that question is “yes,” you will.

But not to worry because the treatments are not painful, uncomfortable, or even inconvenient.

Many men get their shots, for instance, once every two weeks and that’s it. Your treatment might be different, of course, but the point is that low T doesn’t have to remain a problem for you because doing something about it is very simple and fast.


The Many Benefits of TRT – Including Better Muscle Mass

One of the things you have to keep in mind about TRT is that it doesn’t work overnight.

Most men see the best results once they’ve been on the treatment for several months.

Because of this, it helps if you think of TRT as a long-term solution, not a quick fix to all of your low T problems.

The longer you take it, the better results you’ll see, and the results are broken down into both short-term and long-term benefits. Some of the short-term benefits include:

  • Better cognitive levels
  • Better erectile quality
  • Better quality of sleep
  • Better regulation of your appetite
  • Increased sex drive/libido
  • More energy
  • More vitality and motivation

After one to two months, you can expect a few more perks, which include the following:

  • Better hair growth, especially on the face
  • Better joint and bone health
  • Better muscle growth, especially if you lift weights
  • Easier recovery after exercise
  • Improved immune system
  • Increased red blood cell production

The reason TRT works so well on improving your muscle mass is because when you’re suffering with not enough testosterone, it is a lot more difficult to build and retain muscle mass.

Why? Because testosterone is a very potent anabolic hormone that impacts the muscle protein synthesis occurring in your body.

Remember, testosterone is a male hormone that directly affects everything that you consider one of your “male” traits, including both physical and mental traits.

Without that hormone, there is a lot you cannot achieve, which is why the treatments for low T are so important.

When testosterone levels drop, it’s very difficult to even build strong muscles, much less keep them.

You simply need that testosterone if you want to have strong bones and muscles, among other things.

Without the TRT, you can exercise and lift weights all you want, but you likely won’t have much success when it comes to strengthening your muscles.

With the right TRT method, you’ll be working with the treatment to increase muscle strength, decrease the amount of fat in your body, and increase your endurance.

A few other tips to keep in mind regarding TRT and lean muscle mass:

  • While lifting weights regularly will produce even bigger and stronger muscles, the truth is that with TRT, you do not have to exercise to get the same results.
  • If you do decide to lift weights, you do not have to lift super-heavy weights or go overboard with your routine. Even mild weights can help you get the muscles you want and deserve.


Are There Risks Associated with Testosterone Replacement Therapy?

As with any type of hormone treatment, there are risks associated with TRT, although they aren’t that common and aren’t severe in most cases.

What you should keep in mind is that most doctors use low levels of testosterone in their treatments, so you’re not going to be getting huge amounts of this hormone.

The doctor will also test your blood periodically so that your testosterone level doesn’t get too high, as some adjustments in your testosterone levels may be needed with the prescription.

If your testosterone level gets too high, some of the side effects include infertility, high blood pressure, and gynecomastia.

If you notice any of these things happening to you after being on your TRT for a while, it’s time to talk to your doctor.

Many people have the misconception that hormone treatments such as TRT produce “roid rage” and other unpleasant situations, but this is nothing more than a myth.

Nevertheless, these symptoms can be disastrous for many men, which is why you need to see your doctor if you notice them happening to you.

Most of the side effects experienced with testosterone replacement therapy are mild and may even subside altogether after your body gets used to the treatment. They include:

  • Low sperm count
  • More body hair on the back and chest
  • Oily skin and acne
  • Shrinking of the testicles
  • Swelling of the feet and ankles

If you’re wondering if you can do something about these symptoms, the good news is that you can prevent many of them in many instances.

How? Studies have proven that keeping your skin clean, proper grooming, and using topical products to control excessive body hair growth and acne can help a lot.

Some men even add HCG treatments to increase testicle size and help maintain their fertility.

Nothing should be done, however, without checking with your doctor first. In many instances, preventing these side effects or even getting rid of them is much easier than you think, and a trip to your doctor’s office is the best way to get started.

You should also keep in mind that there are a few more serious risks associated with TRT, including an increased risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke.

But if you’re seeing your doctor regularly so that your levels can be tested – remember, your testosterone level can be too high as well as too low – that shouldn’t be a problem because the doctor will be monitoring you regularly and can make adjustments to your treatment whenever needed.

When it comes to risks, having certain conditions may mean that you should forego the TRT. Some of these conditions include:

  • A red blood cell count that is higher than average
  • Cancer (even if you’re in remission)
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Severe congestive heart failure
  • Severe lower urinary tract symptoms (for example, enlarged prostate or BPH)

Before we get off of the subject of risks and side effects, if you experience any of the following symptoms while taking your testosterone treatment, you should see a doctor immediately:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath or breathing problems
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness or numbness on one side of the body

In fact, it’s an even better idea to call 911 in these instances because they can indicate a heart attack or stroke, which needs to be treated immediately.


Should You Test for Low T at Home?

Recently, there are numerous companies that offer at-home kits that test your blood for low testosterone levels.

For the most part, these tests are both accurate and safe, yet there are a few things you should remember about them.

First of all, while they may be accurate, they’ll only tell you if you have low T, not why you have it. Second, they still need to be confirmed by a doctor, since there are so many factors that can affect the number the test comes up with.

For instance, doctors will usually test their patients in the morning, since testosterone levels are higher at the beginning of the day.

They may also tell you to stop taking certain prescription medications for a while before having the test done, especially if you are taking any drugs that might affect your hormone levels.

Because of these things, your results might come out differently than a blood test from the doctor’s office, which is why you should always double-check them with a doctor before going any further.

This isn’t to say that at-home testosterone tests should be avoided, but you have to think of them like a pregnancy test – it is good for an initial diagnosis, but a trip to the doctor afterward is always a necessity.


Getting Low T Injections

Since so many men choose injections for their low T treatment, it’s best to know what to expect before your first visit.

First of all, while some men choose to give themselves the injections in the comfort of their home, most men see their doctor and have it administered there. As a general rule, there are three main types of TRT injections:

  • Testosterone cypionate (Depo-Testosterone)
  • Testosterone enanthate (Xyosted, as well as a generic form of Xyosted)
  • Testosterone undecanoate (Aveed, a long-lasting formula)

The injections are given in the buttocks area, and the doctor will likely have you come back in three months and six months to check your hormone levels and make sure the injections are working. In between visits, you should definitely give your doctor a call if you have any unusual or uncomfortable symptoms, and you’ll need to call 911 if any of these symptoms mimic a heart attack or a stroke.

Your doctor will let you know how often you need the shots, and this will depend on the dosage being given and why you’re being given the injections in the first place.



As men age, their testosterone levels go down, and with that come symptoms that include a host of physical and emotional symptoms that are certainly not pleasant.

With a simple blood test or at-home test, you can find out if your testosterone level is too low or too high, and you and your doctor can determine which course of treatment is best for you.

Testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT, is often recommended because it replaces the testosterone that you’re missing.

Testosterone is a hormone present in both males and females, but it is strongest in males and is considered the “male” hormone.

TRT can be administered in various forms, with most men choosing injections because they are the fastest and perhaps the easiest way to receive these hormones.

TRT is also a treatment that has to be done long-term because as soon as you stop the treatment, your symptoms will come back.

While most of the side effects and risks with TRT are minimal and don’t last long, you’ll still need to discuss them with your doctor so that you are fully aware of these risks.

In fact, any changes you notice or concerns you may have about your treatment for low T should be discussed with your doctor to decide what’s best for you from that point on.

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