A common Q I get is “Should I get my T levels checked Will?” When should you get your level checked? When you’re feeling tired, or lack libido or extra sore from workouts? After age 40? My answer may surprise you….
Will Brink is the owner of the Brinkzone Blog. Will has over 30 years experience as a respected author, columnist and consultant, to the supplement, fitness, bodybuilding, and weight loss industry and has been extensively published. Will graduated from Harvard University with a concentration in the natural sciences, and is a consultant to major supplement, dairy, and pharmaceutical companies.
His often ground breaking articles can be found in publications such as Lets Live, Muscle Media 2000, MuscleMag International, The Life Extension Magazine, Muscle n Fitness, Inside Karate, Exercise For Men Only, Body International, Power, Oxygen, Penthouse, Women’s World and The Townsend Letter For Doctors.
He’s also been published in peer reviewed journals.
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Hi WIll, thanks for sharing this perspective. Not sure about your other viewers but i’d really appreciate a transcript if one could be posted with the video as sometimes I would like to find out about your post but it’s not convenient to watch or listen to a video. If you have hearing impaired followers, it would most definitely be of help to them too. Regards, Gary
I absolutely agree with you on testing early and at regular intervals.
One quick point. As you indicated, a baseline allows you to observe trends that can be correlated to physical and mental complaints. That is a great idea. The emerging evidence appears to indicate that a minimum level (around 550 for total testosterone) is required to prevent certain degenerate diseases. You may feel fine and be unaware that the long term development of cardiovascular disease and diabetes has begun if your levels are 400.
Although not as applicable in this context, childhood deficiencies develop as well that are more associated with pathology. Again, a baseline is helpful but this would be an extreme (and fairly uncommon) example of how a baseline does not infer health status.
Getting the medical profession to accept sub optimal T is a negative (in the face of data no less) is difficult enough, much less convincing them 550ng/dl and above is where the major benefits are found, is mission impossible! But, we must fight the good fight regardless…..
Will, I’m right there with you.
Hi Will, I just had my T-Levels checked but they only did a serum test and have provided me with a figure of 16.9 with no explanation of what that figure means – all they said was it was in the “normal” range. I am 56 year old so what does a T serum level of 16.9 mean? Regards, Gary
You need to ask them for the range used and units used. Different labs have different ranges, etc. That number is essentially worthless to you. I’m assuming you’re not in the US as US labs tend to use ng/dl and that number would not work in that measurement unit.
can you talk about if your hormones go back to normal after very bad cardio combine with weightlifting over training like 1-2 years of constant over training plus a low calorie and a really low fat diet. i used to feel extremely tired, depressed and bad and couldnt get erections for many months but after 3 months of rest i feel somewhat better. i want to know if my body is gonna get back to normal and how long is it going to take, PLEASE.
But did you have your major hormones tested to actually see the status per the focus of the vid? Without that info, it’s all guess work. I can’t tell you if/when your hormones will get back to normal for you. It depends on factors such as how suppressed they were (which again only regular blood work will tell you), for how long, as well as genetics and age. It could be 6-12 months (assuming you’re now doing what your body really needs to recoup from prolonged dieting etc) to never. Once again, get hormonal profile done, T in particular, and see where you are, then re test in 6 moths to see what improvements have taken place.
See my articles and vids on how to boost testosterone naturally, the importance of blood work (called “It’s in your blood”) and others to get the info you need.
Good luck! 🙂
My test levels in October of last year were around 420. I’m 19 years old and I had already been feeling terible for about a year and a half. I couldn’t even get an erection if I tried and I had major anxiety and depression plus I cried alot. In October I changed my diet and started getting alot of fats and boosted my calories n started a new workout plan with less volume. I was feeling better each 2 weeks but just barely. Then in February I stopped working out for 2 months and I starTed to get better alot faster thanks to the rest but I only felt about 70% as good as I used too but still a lot better then months before. Then I went back to the gym for 1 week and I started to feel terrible again and anxiety and depression. I got buried again sft r only 1 week in the gym. Now it’s been 3 weeks with no phsyical exercise anf I’m slowly getting beter but I steel feel emotional after a day of being at work (I work 3 times a week) or if I walk or stand up for a long time. IM getting 3000 calories and gain some fat. I’m 5.8 feet and over 177lbs but iv lost about 8 pounds of muscle since I stopped working out. I feel bad in my legs when i start to feel overtrain or depressed which csn be trigggerd my standing or walking alot. doctor said it’s all in my head and that 400 test is normal even doe I couldn’t get an erections and was feeling very depressed. What Can I do? I can now get erections but not like I used too years ago and I’m not feeling as depressed or anxiety as much and I think in a few weeks I won’t feel depressed anymore from standing for a long time which is what I do at work.
Find a doctor that specializes in bio-identical hormone replacement. An ignorant doc will tell you your total testosterone is normal. Someone your age should have a min level in the upper quartile of lab reference range.
Remember that a lab’s reference range for hormones is just a statistical range of 95% of their patients (some of which are not in optimum health).
Steady state cardio will lower your hormone levels. You can raise your levels with short sessions of high intensity interval training, getting adaquate protein and following a Paleolithic diet.
hey Will, i had my testosterone levels checked a number of years and have studied the effects of womens sterilization upon a mans test levels, my wife being sterilized has diminished my levels to below normal, i have studied this fairly extensively over 25 years, i started bio-identical replacement and find i need a fair amount to operate at a good level sexually and to make any gains in the gym, i also noticed testicle softness and shrinkage started on HCG, it is very expensive and hard to keep up with, do you have any other recommendations other than a fertile younger woman, to keep ones testicles functioning and still producing healthy sperm and keeping ones virility up despite the woman being sterilized and not able to conceive, it all is a mind game i realize, but one i am not winning at, i have to deal with anger, hatred, envy and jealousy over my wifes inability to have children, i am training focused, into being sober and growing spiritually, and would like to realize maximum manhood and virility, from Jerome
Your wife’s ability to conceive will not affect your hormone levels.
Find a doctor that understands hormone replacement.
If you can support your assertion, please provide evidence.
When I was 56 I was 900,doctor said 1100 was normal, nothing to worry about. now I am in my 60’s, and after a surgery I was laid up eighty months, and I fell to 400. The doctor put me on the jell, and I went to 550. I requested the shots, and now at 1175 ,I am superman. Is that too high? I freak out about all the warning’s. Thanks for all the good advice Will, joe
I’m just surprised you have a doc who allows you to be over 1100ng/dl. What’s his number? 🙂
I’d discuss with your doc if you have concerns. You’re on the high end of “normal” for most labs. Assuming all your other labs are OK, and you feel good, what’s the problem?
Since starting TRT for extremely Low T (brought on by a surgical procedure) I have found my zest for life returning and have found myself in the best shape since my 20’s (40yo now). I have also rediscovered my my love of strength training. My question is if I were to compete in a powerlifting meet and was drug tested would I test positive even though my T levels would still be in the normal ranges? I would want to compete Raw and as an amature next year.
If you’re in the normal range you should be fine, and most federations will have medical allowances if you have a legit reason for the TRT, and it sounds like you do. Simply check with federation you plan to compete in and their policies on that. Good luck.